Q: Dear Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting a rhinoplasty and I want to know if my expectations for the result are realistic and achievable. I would like my nose to have a more delicate and feminine appearance as it is too wide. I think it doesn’t fit my face as fat as it is now. I would like it to be less wide and fat and to not project as much. My nose seems to stick straight out with very little sloping. Can this be fixed and how much can the fat tip be reduced? My nostrils also flare out considerably when I smile which I also dislike very much.
A: Rhinoplasty surgery can make very visible improvements in making a wide nose smaller but there are limitations in how much can be achieved. While the underlying cartilage framework can be resculpted and narrowed, how much that is reflected on the outside is highly influenced by the thickness of the overlying skin. Thick nasal skin not only retains swelling for a long period of time but it can only shrink so much. Taking a wide fat nose and making it a delicate one is a virtual impossibility. That dramatic a change may not be realistic. You should have computer imaging done first to determine if rhinoplasty can make enough of a change, particularly in the tip of the nose, to make surgery for you worthwhile.
Dr. Barry Eppley