Will Rhinoplasty Help Reduce Nostril Flaring When Smiling?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in rhinoplasty but have one major question. My appearance changes greatly when I smile, my nose really flattens out and I would like it to be more defined when I smile. When my face is at rest, my appearance is satisfactory. My recent pics show no definition. Will rhinoplasty help solve this concern?

A: The concern about nostril flare with smiling is actually a fairly common question from patients considering rhinoplasty. It is important to realize that rhinoplasty is a static operation, not a dynamic one. It changes the nose structures based on their natural non-moving state. While it will give the nose more definition, particularly of the tip, it will not necessarily prevent the nostrils from flaring when you smile. That is a natural phenomenon of all noses as the facial muscles pull on the non-fixed bases of the side of the nostrils. While the nose will become more refined with the surgery, you should not expect that it will solve the flare of the nostrils that naturally occur from smiling. You should consider to undergo rhinoplasty for the changes you may see from computer imaging with your face at rest.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana