Q: Hi, I have hated my nose for a long time and I have finally decided to get a nose job. I am African-American and I don’t like the lower third of my nose. My nose is too wide and big when I smile. My nostrils flare really wide. I just want to get rid of some of the wideness but don’t want to change the whole nose. Is that possible?
A: One of the many distinguishing features of the African-American nose can be its unique tip and nostril shape. The tip is often more flat and less well-defined and the nasal base is wide, often with nostrils that have a larger size that also flare. Many African-American rhinoplasties involves reduction of the wide and flaring nostrils. This can be done by removing skin from the inside of the nostrils for some minor reduction or by repositioning the entire nostril base for a more major change. Nostril and nasal base reduction can be done by itself but it is important to see how this may change the overall look to the nose. This is where computer imaging is absolutely essential. Most likely changing the size of the nostrils will affect how the tip of the nose looks and will make it look even more flat and shorter. Some tip changes through columellar strut grafting may be needed with nostril reduction to keep the lower third of the nose in balance. Dr. Barry Eppley Indianapolis, Indiana