Can Rhinoplasty Make My Nose Even Smaller Than What Computer Imaging Shows?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I have reviewed your rhinoplasty computer images of what my nose may look like after surgery. While I like the changes that have been done, what I would like to know is if my nose can get even a bit smaller than what you have showed in your imaged pictures?

A: When it comes to reducing the size of one’s nose, what limits the result is how much skin one has and its thickness. All of the maneuvers in rhinoplasty surgery are about changing the underlying cartilage framework. In reducing a large nose that framework is reshaped and made smaller. While the supportive framework of the nose can be changed, the final result seen will also reflect how well the skin shrinks as well. How well the skin contracts is key and the thicker the skin is the less likely it will contract as much as the cartilage has been reduced. The wild card in every rhinoplasty surgery is how the overlying skin will reshape to the new framework.

I try to show on computer imaging realistic results and often the most minimal changes that I think will happen. While anything can be done on Photoshop that does not mean it can be achieved by actual surgery. You should make a decision about whether surgery is worth it based on the least amount that can be achieved…not on the most that you hope can be accomplished. This is particularly true in reduction rhinoplasty.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana