Rhinoplasty for Nostrils

When most people think of cosmetic surgery for the nose (otherwise known as a rhinoplasty procedure), they often conjure up images of the entire nose being encased in bandages after an extensive procedure. That may have been the case decades ago, but current standards for rhinoplasty surgery have dramatically advanced to the point where our surgeons at Jefferson Plastic Surgery can pinpoint precise areas of the nose for improvement, rather than having to work on the entire nose at once. This can be particularly beneficial if you are only looking to improve one area of the nose, such as the nostrils, but leave the rest of the nasal structure intact.

Common Nostril Issues

Overly wide nostrils are perhaps the most common problem that can be corrected with rhinoplasty. These often also include a nasal tip that is wide and flat. The nostrils themselves may also be narrow, which can lead to breathing difficulties. In other cases, there may be a distinct asymmetry between the sizes of the nostrils. In this instance, it is easier to reduce the size of the larger nostril. Attempting to enlarge the size of the smaller nostril would likely involve grafts, which would result in noticeable scarring and longer healing times.

Some patients may also have nostrils that flare out too much, which can be particularly noticeable if they tilt their head back or laugh. Finally, patients of certain ethnic backgrounds that tend toward wider nostrils may wish to de-emphasize that particular feature, while still retaining a natural look to the nose.

Nostril Rhinoplasty Techniques

The most common way to reduce the size of the nostrils is by removing a wedge of nostril skin from the side, known as the Weir technique. This can be done either just from the outside of the nostrils or from both the outside and the inside of the nostrils. If the bottom of the nostrils are particularly wide or flare out, a sill technique can be used, which removes a diamond-shaped wedge of skin from the bottom of the nostrils. This is often done in conjunction with a Weir incision. A third technique is known as a Y-V advancement. In this technique, two incisions are used around the alar (the outer part of the nostril) to the inside of the nostril, forming a Y shape.

Advantages of Nostril Rhinoplasty

The main advantage of nasal rhinoplasty is that it does not involve the entire nose. As a result, the recovery time is greatly reduced, as well as the risk for any adverse side effects. Patients can often return to their normal daily activities much sooner than after a full rhinoplasty procedure. Finally, nostril rhinoplasty will involve less noticeable scarring than from a full rhinoplasty. Although there will be some external incisions needed, these will all be placed in the natural creases around the nostrils, so as to be as hidden as possible.

Current rhinoplasty techniques have come a long way from the time in which the entire nose required work in order to change its appearance. Fortunately, a nostril rhinoplasty is a much simpler procedure if you only wish to improve the appearance of that specific part of the nose.

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Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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