Common Nose Shape Concerns That Rhinoplasty Can Help
No two noses are the same, they come in many different shapes and sizes but, there’s no denying that some nose shapes are preferred over others. While this preference may vary between people, the most preferable nose is one that achieves facial harmony ie. it is balanced with the entire face.
Your nose is located at the most central point of your face and provides the midline balance point of your other facial features. If balanced, your nose may go unnoticed to others, but if misshaped, it may be the defining feature of your face. Instead, you may prefer people to first notice your bright eyes or your wide smile. Unfortunately, due to genetics or injury, this isn’t always the case. However, with advancements in cosmetic surgery, various different nose shapes and profiles can be corrected with nose surgery or rhinoplasty.
If you are considering undergoing a surgical nose job procedure, you may be looking for the most common nose problems, or nose shape concerns, that can be remedied with this procedure. This article explores the more frequently heard nose complaints that lead people towards plastic surgery to reshape, resize or reposition the structures of the nose.
Understanding The Structure of the Nose
Before you consider having your nose shape altered, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the nose and determine which part/s of your nose you would like to change. This will be discussed in detail at your initial consultation with your plastic surgeon. It’s also important to consult with an experienced and reputable surgeon, as noses tend to be quite technically difficult and require certain skills on the part of the surgeon. The main structures of the nose that can be surgically altered include:
The bridge of the nose is the bony part of the nose, located between the eyes and down to the cartilage that makes up the nose tip. It is the main external structure of the nose which binds together the cartilage that forms individual nose shapes and contours. It provides functionality in terms of breathing, and if obstructed can cause difficulty breathing and increase the prevalence of snoring.
The tip of the nose is the cartilage area which is connected to the nostrils, it is typically the part of the nose furthest away from the plane of the face. The nose tip plays a big role in determining the overall balance and symmetry of your facial proportions. And, consequently, it is the most common nose concern that people opt to have recontoured or reshaped.
The nostrils are the external openings of the two channels of the nose and are located at the bottom of the nasal cavity. They help to facilitate breathing. The nostrils and the internal nasal passages are separated by a wall called the Septum.
The septum is the cartilage in the middle of the nose which separates the nostrils. For most, the septum is centred and it evenly divides the nostrils. A large number of people have an uneven septum which creates the appearance of uneven nostrils. If this unevenness is severe, it is medically referred to as a deviated septum.
Reasons People Elect to Undergo Nose Surgery
Cosmetic surgery of the nose helps to change the appearance and proportion of the nose. It can also correct breathing problems caused by structural abnormalities. Because this procedure is highly efficient for both medical and cosmetic requirements, it is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for both men and women.
Some of the main cosmetic reasons people endeavour to undergo nose surgery include:
- straighten a crooked nasal bridge
- reduce the size of the nose bridge, nostrils and tip
- increase the size of the nose bridge, nostrils and tip
- restore the height of a flattened nose structure
- correct a large dorsal hump present on the nasal bridge
- alter the shape and appearance of the nasal tip
- widen the nostrils and nasal passage to improve breathing
- repair damage caused by injury
And, some of the main medical reasons people decide to look into nose surgery include the following medical conditions:
- sinus infections
- impaired breathing by a broken or crooked nose
- mild sleep apnea
- deviated septum
- damaged nose bridge or internal structures
Benefits of nose surgery
Whether it’s performed for aesthetic reasons or to correct a medical issue, nose surgery can potentially improve your quality of life. Depending on your nose shape or concern, nose surgery can help you to breathe better, sleep easier as well as boost your self-confidence.
What makes a nose attractive?
While opinions on a beautiful nose may differ, balanced proportions and symmetry are the universally accepted measure of what makes a nose beautiful. Humans are naturally attracted to faces with symmetry, and this is what surgeons aim to achieve when performing all breast, body, face and nose procedures.
Facial symmetry is assessed by plastic surgeons by visually dividing the face into thirds. The top of the forehead to the eyebrows constitutes the upper third, the eyebrows to the bottom of the nose comprise the middle third, and the lower third is made up of the area between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin.
Vertical symmetry can be achieved when the nose is situated perfectly in the middle third of the face. The same measure of symmetry can be used to idealise the horizontal positioning of the nose. By using fifths break up facial proportions, the ideal nasal width is equivalent to the width of the person’s eyes.
Before and after rhinoplasty surgery
Top 6 nose shapes and concern that rhinoplasty surgery can help to resolve
Below are the most commonly expressed nose appearance concerns that drove people to consider nose surgery.
1. The nose has a large dorsal-hump or nose-bridge bump
A dorsal hump is an unwanted bump on the bridge of the nose. It sits on the top of the nose and is usually not visible from the front view, but more apparent from the side profile. Having a large dorsal hump can make the nose appear larger which can draw attention and unbalance the proportions of the face.
Removing this bump is part of a Rhinoplasty procedure and often involves removal of some cartilage and bone. The end result depends heavily on what the patient wishes to achieve, whether its a smaller hump or complete removal of the hump to a straight bridge. Perhaps the most requested result is a slight upward angle as the bridge meets the nose tip. A discussion with your plastic surgeon about what is important to you will help you to achieve the best results when aiming to reduce the shape of your nasal bridge.
2. The nose is crooked
A crooked nose refers to a nose shape that doesn’t follow a straight line down the centre of your face. Some people may have subtle crookedness or a more dramatic curve and this typically depends on what the cause is. A crooked nose can be a result of trauma or injury as well as genetics that were present from birth. It’s typically only a cosmetic concern, but when more pronounced crooked noses can occasionally have a negative impact on breathing. If you’ve suffered an injury that’s caused a crooked nose and you struggle with breathing, you might find that it is a result of a deviated septum. Deviated septums can be treated with Septoplasty surgery.
This cosmetic nose concern is often more difficult to correct than others and as such, it requires the skill of a specialist plastic surgeon. Rhinoplasty can effectively correct this problem and in certain cases, osteotomy (the surgical cutting of a bone to allow realignment) is required.
3. The nose has a large bulbous tip
A bulbous nasal tip is a term which describes a nose tip that is excessively full or heavy. The tip usually consists of a round or ‘bulging’ shape that can make the nose appear too big, too wide or both. Some also describe that a large rounded nose tip makes their nose ‘shapeless.’ This nose concern is primarily a result of genetics and is present at birth.
A large or bulbous nasal tip can be corrected with the help of a nose tip rhinoplasty or tip plasty. In this procedure, excess cartilage from the nasal tip is removed and the remaining cartilage is reshaped to reduce the size and roundness of the nose tip. Most patients prefer their nose tip to be reshaped into one that is soft and more triangular in shape.
4. The nose bridge is too wide or too flat
A broad or wide nasal bridge is where the bridge of the nose is wide and out of proportion to the rest of the facial features. This concern is commonly a result of excess width or thickness of the nasal bones and is most obvious from the front view. It can be caused by genetics, injury, or a previous nose surgery but most commonly genetics. A wide, broad or flat nose is common in many Asian, African and Hispanic ethnicities.
Rhinoplasty surgery can be performed to modify the nasal bridge and make it appear smaller. This involves removal of excess or unneeded cartilage and can also require osteotomy to precisely fracture the bone and maneuver it inwards. If the nose is excessively flat it may require the grafting of tissue from another part of the body. The most common areas to collect cartilage tissue are the ribs, ears or the nasal septum.
As the goal of this surgery is to reduce the width of the nasal bridge, it’s important to know that swelling may be present for up to a year following surgery so you’ll have to be patient regarding your final result.
5. The nose is too big or long
An overly long or big nose is often a result of the nasal bridge and the nose tip being long in nature. The average length of an adult’s nose is 2 inches for women and 2.2 inches for men. When it’s longer than these averages, the nose is typically considered oversized for a person’s facial features. Having a nose that is too big or long can draw unwanted visual attention from both front and side views.
Depending on the circumstances, a complex rhinoplasty may help shorten the projection of a long nose. It can reduce the size of the nasal tip as well as any dorsal hump that is present. To shorten the tip cartilage and lift them with sutures requires significantly advanced nose reshaping techniques and should always be performed by a specialist plastic surgeon. The goal of this procedure is to balance the facial profile and front-view to complement the overall facial symmetry.
6. The nose is too pointy or droopy
A pointy or droopy nose is often the result of excess or projected cartilage on the nose tip. This can detract from the overall symmetry and beauty of the face. As the nose tip is composed entirely of cartilage, tip rhinoplasty surgery is often the most effective way to reduce the point or droop of the nose. This procedure can round the shape of the nose tip and also reduce the size of it if necessary. This procedure is less complex than a traditional rhinoplasty and can often result in less downtime during recovery.
Next steps: What to consider before consulting for nose surgery
Realistic expectations are critical to be a good candidate for any type of nose surgery. What looks good on another may not look good for your face, so it’s important that your surgery expectations are based on what you want to achieve and not anything else. That being said, some requested nose shapes are more common than others so this is a discussion you may like to have in your initial consultation with your plastic surgeon.
Always choose a qualified, experienced specialist plastic surgeon
Due to the complex nature of nose surgery, it’s critical that you choose someone who is well-experienced with all different types and shapes of noses, and up to date with the latest in rhinoplasty techniques.
Plastic surgeons vary from cosmetic surgeons in that they require more rigorous surgical training to gain their qualifications. A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is someone who is FRACS qualified with proven and relevant surgical experience. Learn more about the difference here.
- What makes a nose beautiful – Thomas W. Loeb MD
- The Most Common Nasal Deformities Corrected During Cosmetic Rhinoplasty – MirrorMe3D