A rhinoplasty, or nose job, is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures. In fact, rhinoplasty was the second most popular cosmetic surgical procedure for 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which is the leading professional organization for plastic surgeons. The ASPS sends out a survey to its members each year to collect data on various trends within the field of plastic surgery. ASPS members performed more than 223,000 rhinoplasty surgical procedures last year, ranking only behind breast augmentations in terms of popularity.

While most people think of rhinoplasties as involving the entire nose as one unit, there are actually a number of ways to address only certain specific parts of the nose for improvement. The obvious advantage to targeting only one part is that the recovery time is much shorter than attempting surgery on the entire nose. Dr. Paul Pin has found that rhinoplasty focusing on just the nostrils can often produce excellent results for patients without the extensive recovery time that is required for a full rhinoplasty.

Common Nostril Issues

One of the most common reasons why Dr. Pin will choose to focus just on reconstructing the nostrils is if they are too wide, narrow, or flat. In many cases, this is not just for cosmetic purposes, but may actually be medically necessary. Nostrils that are not properly shaped can interfere with breathing and lead to excessive snoring and, in particularly severe cases, sleep apnea.

Other instances in which patients may want nostril rhinoplasty are purely cosmetic, such as nostrils of two obviously different sizes, or certain ethnicities in which the nostrils tend to be flat. In the latter case, Dr. Pin will reshape the nostrils, but keep them looking natural for the patient’s ethnic background.

Nostril Rhinoplasty Techniques

In general, it is easier to reshape the nostrils by removing excess skin and cartilage. Grafting skin and cartilage can be done, but it can increase the healing time and may not produce optimal results. The easiest way to reduce the size of the nostrils involves taking out a wedge of skin from the side, which is known as the Weir technique.

A sill technique can be used in conjunction with the Weir technique to fix nostrils that are too wide or flare out too much. For this technique, Dr. Pin removes a diamond-shaped section of skin from the bottom of the nostrils.

A third, somewhat more complicated technique, is the Y-V advancement. This uses two incisions that go from the outer part of the nostril to the inside, and is sometimes used for nostril reconstruction, such as to correct for a cleft lip deformity.

Advantages of Nostril Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty for just the nasal tip has several advantages. Recovery is faster than with a full rhinoplasty. Additionally, there will be less scarring, as Dr. Pin will place most incisions on the inside of the nostrils. Finally, many patients find that they get better results from a rhinoplasty focused just on the nostrils because it does not involve the rest of the nasal structure.

Nasal rhinoplasty is just one example of how the field of plastic surgery is advancing. It can now target very specific areas for improvement, which can lead to better results with shorter recovery times and minimal scarring and side effects.