Changing the shape of your nasal tip – Tip rhinoplasty

What can be done to change the nasal tip?

Changing the nasal tip can be done as part of an overall rhinoplasty, or it may be the only part of the nose that is changed.  If it is the only part of the nose that is changed, it is called a tip rhinoplasty.

What can be done about a bulky nasal tip?

A bulky appearance to the nasal tip may be related to several different causes. Some people have tip cartilage which is overly large or shaped in a way that makes the nose appear wide and unattractive. Thick skin or excessive fatty tissue in the tip can contribute to a bulky appearance. Inflammatory variants of acne or rosacea may also be a contributing factor. Correction of cartilage shape and excess soft tissue generally requires surgery. Skin issues may sometimes be improved with medical treatment.

Can you fix a crooked nasal tip?

Yes, this is a common problem which can be improved. The surgery required involves accessing the nasal tip cartilages and modifying their shape and position. This may require placement of cartilage grafts which are obtained from the nasal septum, ear, or rib. In some cases there are underlying problems with the structure of the nasal septum or dorsum which must be addressed to straighten the tip.

What is the difference between a tip rhinoplasty and a complete rhinoplasty?

A tip rhinoplasty is limited to modification of the lower lateral cartilages, which are the structures responsible for the shape and support of the nasal tip. A complete rhinoplasty most often involves some modification of the tip but also corrects asymmetries or undesired contours in the upper and middle part of the nose such as dorsal humps or deviations.

How long is the recovery for a tip rhinoplasty?

Most patients feel fine following a tip rhinoplasty within a couple of days. There is typically some tape and a protective splint which stays in place on the nose for about a week. Bruising is generally less that that seen with reduction of a dorsal hump or straightening crooked nasal bones. While swelling takes several months to a year to fully resolve, the nasal tip looks good within 2-4 weeks.

Do I have to go to sleep for a tip rhinoplasty?

Tip rhinoplasty is usually done under general anesthesia. In some cases for minor revisions of the nasal tip local anesthesia in the office or milder IV sedation in the OR may be sufficient.

Are flared nostrils corrected with a tip rhinoplasty?

Widely set or flared nostrils can be effectively narrowed by moving them inward with a procedure called Weir excisions. This is a method to release the nostril rim from its attachment to the face and move it centrally, narrowing the nasal base. This procedure is separate from but frequently performed with tip rhinoplasty.

If I bring a photo of a nasal tip I like, can that be reproduced on me?

Experienced rhinoplasty surgeons have a great deal of control over the shape and size of the nasal tip. There are limitations imposed by the size and strength of a patient’s natural cartilage. During your consultation, our rhinoplasty experts will discuss realistic expectations with you and may use video imaging technology to demonstrate expected results.

What are current trends in tip rhinoplasty and should any of these be avoided?

Tip rhinoplasty techniques have increasingly moved toward modification, repositioning and anchoring of the native nasal tip cartilages. The use of onlay grafts has diminished since these may shift over time or begin to show edges. Structural grafting remains an important part of tip rhinoplasty but techniques have evolved to emphasize structural support and retention of the integrity of native structures. Techniques which divide or destroy existing cartilage should generally be avoided.

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