The nose is an often overlooked facial feature, but there are many nuances and variables that go into an attractive nose. From the width and curvature of the bridge to the angle and size of the tip, a few millimeters can be the difference between a nose that complements the face and one that is a distraction. This is especially true with regard to the nostrils, which can garner unwanted attention for a number of reasons. If you are unsatisfied with the appearance of your nostrils, you may benefit from rhinoplasty surgery at our Los Angeles office.
Common Problems with Nostrils
There are numerous reasons why patients may be dissatisfied with the shape of their nostrils. Typically, one or more of the following issues are present:
- Large nostrils: When nostrils appear too large, it is often a result of them being flared out horizontally, as opposed to being narrower and more vertical.
- Narrow nostrils: One or both nostrils can be too narrow, resulting in not just a strange appearance, but breathing difficulties as well.
- Asymmetry: When nostrils appear differently sized or shaped, it can make the entire nose and face seem unbalanced.
- Upward notch: Nostrils can have upward facing notches along the edge, appearing uneven and revealing too much of the inside of the nose.
- Hanging columella: The bottom of the septum, called the columella, may hang below the nostrils, resulting in an overly rounded appearance.
Candidates for Rhinoplasty
Patients who are looking to adjust their nostrils in relation to the rest of their nose may be good candidates for rhinoplasty surgery. Although rhinoplasty can produce results that are precise and natural looking, it’s important for all patients to have realistic expectations about the procedure. Specific changes can be achieved to suit one’s preferences, but at no point should patients expect perfection.
As with other plastic surgery treatments, rhinoplasty requires that patients are in good health. The more medical complications and risk factors a patient has, the riskier any procedure will be. This includes factors such as tobacco use, systemic disease, and a weakened immune system. Good candidates should also be well into adolescence or older, as it’s important for a nose to be mostly done growing before undergoing cosmetic surgery.
Techniques for Nostril-related Rhinoplasty
Just as rhinoplasty encompasses any cosmetic surgery of the nose, there are also multiple ways for nostrils to be modified. After learning about your goals for surgery and assessing the shape of your nose, Dr. Keyes will recommend a specific technique:
- Correcting large nostrils: To create narrower or smaller nostrils, one of two techniques may be utilized. One possibility is to remove a small strip of tissue from the surface of the nostril, near the crease, before suturing it closed. Another possibility involves the removal of tissue from the nasal floor and using sutures within the nostril, thus creating less noticeable scars.
- Correcting narrow nostrils: To open up nostrils, cartilage can be taken from the nose or ear and grafted onto the nostril to extend it. Alternatively or in conjunction with this, the opening can be expanded through the removal of exterior tissue.
- Correcting a notch: The orientation of a nostril can be rotated to change its shape, with the possible addition of a tissue graft for severely notched or receded nostrils.
- Correcting asymmetry or a columella: When nostrils appear crooked, differently sized, or too round near the bottom, they can often be corrected by adjusting the columella. For severe asymmetry or a deviated septum, a septoplasty can provide significant improvement.
When meeting with your doctor, discuss what you would like to accomplish with rhinoplasty and any concerns you may have regarding treatment. In addition to the nature of your problem, personal preferences such as the subtlety of your results and the possibility of scarring may impact your recommended surgery.
What Can Rhinoplasty Do for You?
Our facial plastic surgery center is ready to help you achieve the look you deserve. For more information on rhinoplasty or to set up an appointment with us, contact our office today.