Facts You Should Know Before Getting a Rhinoplasty

Nasal aesthetics involving rhinoplasty, or a ‘nose job’, has been trending for decades and it has not gone out of style. People who are unhappy with their nose for one reason or another have the option of choosing rhinoplasty to fix those issues. Those who thought they had a ‘big’ nose wanted reduction procedure to make it proportionate to the rest of their facial features.

Initially, the main concerns were the size, shape, length, nasal projection, pointedness of the tip, or alignment of the nose. But now, the rhinoplasty procedure has been extended to include correcting issues with the nostrils as desired by the client. In fact, more and more advanced technology is being introduced to focus on detailed refinement of the nose all the way down to the width and shape of the nostrils.

The Basics About Rhinoplasty
Nose surgery is broadly classified as rhinoplasty reduction, rhinoplasty refinement, and rhinoplasty reconstruction. Each of them has specific benefits and may be ideal based on the client's medical or aesthetic needs. Whichever is done, the goal is to fix one or more flaws with the nose or nostrils. Clients may opt for refinement rhinoplasty when they are seeking better nose definition. Nose refinement surgery can be beneficial when these issues are present:
  • Shape or contour irregularities
  • Misaligned nose
  • Crooked nose bridge
  • Poor projection of the nose
  • Hump on the nose bridge
  • Poor nose symmetry with rest of the face (especially lips, eyes, and brows)
  • Poorly defined nose tip, e.g., wide, bulbous, or boxy tip
  • Large or wide nostrils
The Rhinoplasty Procedure
Nose surgery is a safe procedure done by a certified plastic surgeon to improve the appearance or function of the nose. It can be performed using either a closed procedure or an open procedure.

During a closed procedure, the incision is made inside the nose to reduce the appearance of scars. An open procedure means the incision is made across, but inside, the narrow strip of tissue at the tip of the nose separating the nostrils.

Nasal skin and tissue are then separated from the bone and cartilage of the nose. The surgeon will continue by sculpting the bone and cartilage to the desired shape, before replacing the tissue and redraping the skin over the bone structure. Sometimes tissue is added or bone cartilage removed based on the desired results.

Nostril Reduction During Rhinoplasty
Nostril reduction, also called alar base reduction or alarplasty, can also be safely done at the same time of the rhinoplasty. The alar base or lower part of the nose may be naturally large or wide in some clients. This causes the nostrils to flare and spread outwards to the cheek. The procedure essentially reduces the width of the alar base to improve the appearance of the nostrils and nose.

Using a special technique, the surgeon will proceed to reduce the size of the nostrils. An incision will be made at the crease where the cheek and nostril meet. The length of the nostril sidewalls is then shortened and the nostril bases narrowed. The nostrils are then shaped and contoured. Once the creases are closed and sutured, the nose may immediately appear smaller and narrower.

Alar base reduction during rhinoplasty is usually done at the plastic surgeon’s office under local or general anesthesia or a combination of both. This helps to reduce discomfort. Surgery may take a few hours to complete. A nasal splint or nasal packing is usually used to protect the nose for a few days as it heals. The risk of scarring is minimal and hidden in the nose crease.

Addressing flared or large nostrils during rhinoplasty is done more for enhancing the attractiveness of the nose tip and base and balancing the nose with the rest of the face. Nostril reduction is popular among ethnic rhinoplasty patients. Even subtle changes in the width or shape of the nostrils can provide a huge confidence boost for clients. And, they are still able to maintain their unique facial features linked to their ethnicity.

Best Reasons for Doing Nostril Reduction
If you feel embarrassed, self-conscious and unhappy about the way your nose and nostrils appear, you may be a good candidate for nostril reduction during rhinoplasty. These are some of the great benefits of undergoing nostril reduction:
  • It reduces the size of the nostrils
  • Eliminates flaring of the nose;
  • Improves nostril shape and contour;
  • Leaves no visible scar;
  • Will not upset facial balance and harmony;
  • May improve breathing;
  • Make you fall in love with your nose;
  • Can give your self-confidence a boost
  • Can save money when done during rhinoplasty
During the initial consultation with a plastic surgeon, you will be examined and evaluated to ensure you fit the other eligibility criteria for rhinoplasty and nostril reduction. You must be in good health and have reasonable expectations about a nose job.

Choosing the Right Plastic Surgeon
Not everyone was born with the best-looking nose, but almost anyone can change the way their nose looks with rhinoplasty or alarplasty. Nostril reduction during rhinoplasty is a highly specialized aesthetic procedure. It calls for the use of skills and techniques with accuracy and precision. To prevent a botched surgery, you should do your research before choosing a plastic surgeon that can meet your needs.

Dr. Andrew Frankel, MD, FACS is a world-renowned, board certified plastic surgeon in both Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He practices in Beverly Hills, CA, and specializes in reduction, refinement, reconstruction, and revision rhinoplasty. He has a passion for helping to improve the facial appearance of his clients.
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