Before you get rhinoplasty surgery, you’ll need to think about your goals. What are your reasons for wanting surgery? Different people have different ideas about what they want their noses to look like, and there is no one-size-fits all aesthetic.
Thinking about what appeals to you in terms of nose shape, angle, size, and proportions is important, especially when you are considering nose surgery (rhinoplasty).
Balanced Proportions and Symmetry
A proportionate and symmetrical human face is what many people desire.
A human face can be divided into three parts: upper, middle and lower. The upper part of your face includes your forehead and eyebrows. The middle part extends from the eyebrows to the base of the nose. The lower part of the face refers to the area extending from the nose to the chin. When the concept of the golden ratio is applied to the human face in cosmetic surgery, both vertical and horizontal symmetry becomes part of the surgical goal, which some people may consider or desire when seeking surgery.
Characteristics of a Nose
One of the biggest challenges that comes with cosmetic surgery from a surgeon’s perspective is determining what the patient wants from the surgery. And this explanation is the hardest part for the patients as well. Every individual has a unique face and it becomes increasingly hard to outline the characteristics of a nose that you would like to achieve. It is important to be aware of the reference points so you can communicate clearly during the consultation. Let’s discuss these points briefly:
- Width – A lot of people want their noses to look thin. Narrowing the overall width will make your nose appear thinner.
- Nasal Tip – Another common characteristic that people want to be altered is their nasal tip. A lot of people are born with thick nasal skin which makes their nose tip appear round instead of pointy.
- Straighter Lines – Many people wish to achieve straighter lines and get their bumps removed. In some cases, the result can be temporarily achieved with a dermal filler. For permanent removal of the dorsal hump, surgery is required.
- Nostril Size – While the purpose of nostrils is to purify the air that enters your lungs, the size of the nostrils plays an important role in how your overall nose will look. Surgery can help you achieve smaller and symmetrical looking nostrils.
- Angle Between Lip & Tip – A very important yet basic metric is the angle between the tip of your nose and the top of your lip.
Selecting a Nose Shape and Nose Size when Considering Rhinoplasty
Different people have different kinds of noses. So, how could you decide what nose shape fits you? The process is very complex and requires a lot of research. Plus, you need to choose an experienced surgeon who can help you determine what will work based on your facial features and face shape.
3D stimulation is often used to help their patients visualise the results of rhinoplasty. While this isn’t an accurate representation, it will give you a fairly clear idea of how your nose is going to look after surgery. Let’s discuss a few pointers that can help you determine your desired nose shape prior to getting the cosmetic surgery:
1. Upper Part of the Nose
The upper part of your nose is essentially made of nasal bones. The most common types of changes people desire for this part are: eliminating the bump on the nose and narrowing down the bridge of the nose. In certain cases, Dr Hunt will alter the height of the nasal bones to match the angle between the top of the nose and forehead. It is important to remember that reducing the bone excessively can cause indentation, which is one of the risks to be aware of before rhinoplasty. Choosing a properly trained surgeon can help reduce risks.
2. Middle Part of the Nose
The middle section of the nose is essentially made of bendable cartilage. It starts from the nasal bones and ends towards the tip. The central part is known as the septum. Think of it as a rectangular piece of cartilage that serves the purpose of dividing your nostrils. It extends deep into the nasal cavity. You will notice that there is a small curve of cartilage on either side of the septum: Which helps with keeping the airways open.
Rhinoplasty can adjust the width of this part of the nose for aesthetic purposes. Also, in some cases, patients have a deviated septum that they want to be corrected. Dr Hunt usually aims to make the middle part of the nose match the height of the nasal bones. During the surgery, Dr Hunt will also focus on reducing the bumps and the curves in this area if needed. Again, it shouldn’t be overdone otherwise it can lead to restrictive breathing and can cause your nose tip to appear larger. In some cases, the middle part of the nose needs extra support which requires the use of special cartilage grafts. This can not only help with nose straightening but keeps the airway open.
3. Tip of the Nose
The tip of your nose comprises 2 C-shaped cartilages. The aesthetics of your nose are heavily dependent on the size shape and projection of the tip. In certain patients, no changes are required when it comes to the tip. While in others, minor alterations to the tip of the nose might be desired.
Common changes made to the tip during the surgery include increasing projection of the tip, decreasing projection of the tip, narrowing a boxy tip, and making an uneven tip look symmetrical and balanced.
4. The Skin of the Nose
All of us are born with different skin types and thicknesses. Think of the skin on your nose as a wrapping or an envelope to the underlying structure. Certain patients are born with fairly thick and oily skin. If that’s the case, it is very difficult to see significant changes. On the other hand, if you are someone with thin skin, even the smallest changes will be seen. During rhinoplasty, your skin won’t be removed. The focus is on the underlying structure instead. Based on your skin structure, Dr Hunt will let you know what changes can and cannot be achieved with the surgery.
5. Nasal Airway
The nasal airway is the final consideration when it comes to rhinoplasty surgery. Nasal breathing is essential to your comfort, sleep, exercise and overall health. In certain cases, nasal airways can create problems with breathing and must be treated separately. This isn’t a part of cosmetic rhinoplasty. In some cases, the blockages in airways are caused by the curvatures in the cartilage or the thickening of turbine glands. If that is the case, it can be addressed during rhinoplasty.
Balancing Your Nose with other Facial Features
The outcomes shown are only relevant for this patient and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience, as results may vary due to many factors including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.
One of the most important elements of rhinoplasty is to consider whether you will be satisfied with how your nose matches the rest of your facial features. A lot of the time, treating the nose alone is sufficient to make patients satisfied with the results. However, it isn’t always the case. In some cases, patients will also need minor alterations to their facial structure in another procedure. For example, rhinoplasty and chin augmentation (genioplasty) are two different procedures that, together, can sometimes help a patient get the results they want. Your surgeon should be able to tell you upfront what is and isn’t suitable for you.
Importance of an Open and Honest Discussion
It is important to choose a surgeon who is truly invested in your well-being. With an open and honest discussion, you will get to know whether rhinoplasty could be the answer to your aesthetic worries or not. Please make sure that you are completely comfortable with your surgeon and can openly share all your concerns. If you feel that you aren’t able to communicate freely with your surgeon, keep on researching and book a consultation with the next one.
It is important to remember that there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to rhinoplasty. For each individual, their goals might be completely different based on their face shape, features, and ethnicity. What might look great on one person might not be what’s best for another.
Hence, it is important to do significant research and determine what you want prior to heading for a consultation with a plastic surgeon. A skilled and qualified surgeon will be able to understand your vision, help you visualise the results, and more importantly will be honest with you in regards to what can and cannot be achieved.
Further Reading about Rhinoplasty
- Read Dr Hunt’s Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty) page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Rhinoplasty page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty) Before and After Photos
- Blog How to find a Nose Surgeon in Sydney
- Blog Ethnic Rhinoplasty – Rhinoplasty for Different Ethnic Groups
Medical References about Ethnic Rhinoplasty
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing cosmetic and plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.