How Is Rhinoplasty for Wide Noses Different?

Rhinoplasty, colloquially referred to as a nose job, is a surgical procedure that reshapes the nose, transforming its appearance and improving its functionality. For individuals with wide noses, the process can be uniquely intricate, requiring an experienced facial plastic surgeon to address the distinct characteristics that set these noses apart from other noses.

In this article, Dr. Jose Barrera explores rhinoplasty for wide noses, examines the experience a plastic surgeon requires to provide satisfactory results, and discusses how patients can get the best results from the procedure.  

How Wide Is Too Wide for a Nose?

A nose may be considered “too wide” if it detracts from the overall balance of the face or creates a sense of disproportion. However, it is essential to recognize that individual preferences, self-perception, and cultural preferences play a significant role in determining whether one considers their nose to be too wide.

As such, there is no definitive answer to how wide is “too wide” for a nose, as this is a highly subjective matter. What may be considered wide in one culture or community might be perfectly acceptable or even desirable in another – which is why ethnic rhinoplasty surgeons strive to preserve ethnic heritage while meeting patient goals.

In general, an aesthetically pleasing nose is one that is proportionate to the rest of the facial features and maintains a sense of balance and harmony. Facial proportions and the “golden ratio” have been used as guidelines in determining the attractiveness of facial features, including the nose.

Thus, if a patient has bolder, more solid facial features, and a relatively wide nose, their facial features will likely be in proportion with one another, creating an aesthetically pleasing, harmonious appearance.

On the other hand, if a patient has slight facial features and a wide nose, then this can create a sense of imbalance, in which case the patient might wish to make the nose slimmer.

Can a Wide Nose Be Narrowed Without Surgery?

While surgery is by far the most effective and permanent method to make a wide nose narrower, there are some non-surgical options available that can create the illusion of a slimmer nose.

Patients should be aware, however, that these techniques only offer temporary results and may not be as dramatic as surgical rhinoplasty. These non-surgical alternatives to rhinoplasty include:


Contouring is a popular makeup technique used to create the illusion of a slimmer nose. By applying a darker shade of foundation or contouring powder along the sides of the nose and a lighter shade down the center, you can create the appearance of shadows and highlights that make the nose appear narrower. Of course, this effect only lasts as long as the makeup is in place.

Non-surgical rhinoplasty

Also known as a “liquid nose job,” non-surgical rhinoplasty involves using dermal fillers to make subtle changes to the nose’s shape. This technique can help camouflage bumps or humps on the nose, making it appear straighter and narrower. The results are temporary, lasting from six months to two years. They can also be maintained with follow-up procedures, but in most cases, patients benefit more from permanent rhinoplasty compared to a liquid nose job.

Can Rhinoplasty Fix a Wide Nose?

Absolutely. When performed by the correct surgeon, rhinoplasty is an effective way to fix a nose that is considered “too wide” relative to the rest of the patient’s facial features.

The procedure achieves this goal using various techniques, depending on the patient’s specific concerns and desired aesthetic results. Some common ways rhinoplasty can address a wide nose include:

Nasal bone reshaping

If the nose is made wide by prominent nasal bones, your surgeon may perform an osteotomy, which involves breaking and repositioning the nasal bones to achieve a narrower appearance.

Cartilage reduction

The nasal cartilage, specifically the lower lateral cartilages, can contribute to a wide nasal tip. Your surgeon can trim and reshape the cartilage to create a more refined and narrower tip, harmonizing the nose with the rest of the face.

Alar base reduction

For patients with a wide nostril base, alar base reduction can be performed, in which a small wedge of tissue is removed from the area where the nostril meets the cheek, reducing the nostril width and creating a more balanced appearance.


In some cases, a deviated septum can cause the nose to appear wider. By altering the septum, the surgeon can improve the overall shape and function of the nose.

Types of Wide Nose Rhinoplasty: Open vs. Closed

Open and closed rhinoplasty are the two primary methods of conducting a nose job, regardless of the specific aesthetic goal.

Both approaches can help treat a wide nose, but which is best suited for any given patient depends on the surgeon’s expertise, the patient’s anatomy, and the ultimate aesthetic desires.

Open Rhinoplasty:

In open rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes an incision across the columella, the narrow strip of skin that separates the nostrils. This allows the surgeon to lift the skin and soft tissue, providing direct access to the underlying nasal structures. The open approach offers the surgeon better visualization of the nasal anatomy, which can be especially beneficial when dealing with more complex cases or when significant reshaping is required.

The nature of open rhinoplasty means that while the surgeon can get a better picture of what needs to be done and has better control over any adjustments, it is far more invasive than closed rhinoplasty,

Closed Rhinoplasty:

The other procedure available to patients is closed rhinoplasty. Here, all incisions are made inside the nostrils, meaning there are no visible scars on the outside of the nose.

This approach is less invasive than open rhinoplasty and generally results in quick recovery; however, closed rhinoplasty provides limited access to the nasal structures, which can make it more challenging for the surgeon to perform extensive reshaping or address complex issues.

Bulbous Tip Nose Job (Tiplasty)

Tiplasty, also known as a bulbous tip nose job, is a specialized rhinoplasty procedure that focuses on refining and reshaping a wide nasal tip.

Patients with bulbous nasal tips have rounded dome-like noses, which is caused by the shape, size, or positioning of the lower lateral cartilages. Tiplasty uses cartilage reshaping to create a more defined and aesthetically pleasing nasal tip that harmonizes with the rest of the facial features.

Wide Nose Rhinoplasty Recovery

Recovery from wide nose rhinoplasty is very similar to any other rhinoplasty procedure.

The patient must rest for the first week, avoid blowing their nose or getting it wet, and take prescribed pain management medication. During this time, the treatment area will be swollen, bruised, and congested.

After seven days, most patients can begin light exercise (walks) and return to work or school. Resuming normal activities can be expected within the 4-6 week period following the treatment.

Wide Nose Rhinoplasty in San Antonio, TX

If you or a loved one is considering wide nose rhinoplasty, then having a non-committal discussion with a compassionate, highly experienced industry expert, such as Dr. Barrera, is the best thing you can do.

A lot goes into deciding whether or not to commit to a rhinoplasty, and discussing one’s concerns and desires with a knowledgeable expert is the best way to get a clear insight into the potential benefits and limitations any procedure might have for the patient.

Dr. Barrera prides himself on his patient satisfaction and the personalized, caring approach he takes to dealing with each and every patient on their own unique individual basis.

Simply call (210) 468-5426 or fill out Dr. Barrera’s online form to discuss how we can improve your life today.