Your Guide To Common Rhinoplasty Terms

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Ready to discover new terms and phrases about nose jobs, otherwise known as rhinoplasty?

 We’ve created a handy glossary so you can get familiar with some of the most common terms associated with rhinoplasty.

If a surgeon says you need an alar base reduction, this is another way of saying he’s going to reduce the size of your nostrils.

Alar plasty is also known as tip plasty. This is a surgery that focuses on the tip of the nose more than any other surrounding area. This procedure helps to narrow and define the tip of the nose.

If a nose has a bulbous tip, that means the tip is wider than the rest of the nose, which can cause it to look disproportional.

A closed nasal reduction is when a patient’s nose can be treated without requiring any incisions. Under the right circumstances, there are techniques that make it possible to reposition the nasal bone structure without requiring invasive surgery.

This is also known as an endonasal nose job, which is the preferred choice for many patients who undergo a nose procedure whenever the option is available to them. This is because a closed rhinoplasty involves incisions that are made inside the nose, so scars aren’t visible on the outside.

A columella is the main column of the nose that separates both nostrils.

When a patient undergoes rhinoplasty, it’s normal to have some temporary scabs in the nose. This phenomenon is known as crusting.

When a patient comes in wanting a nose job, it’s likely because of unwanted dorsal bumps, or naturally occurring camel-like humps on the nose. Thankfully, smoothing out the nose and eliminating dorsal bumps is a simple task for many surgeons.

When the bridge of the nose ends, these lines are known as Dorsal Aesthetic Lines. These are the defining lines of the nose that follow up to the tip of the nose and up to the forehead.

After a nose job, it’s pretty normal to experience some edema, or swelling of the tissue in the nose, especially around the tip.

This is also called tip ptosis, or a hook nose. As the name implies, when the front tip of the nose droops downwards, this is known as a front droop.

As we already explained, a columella is the inside column of the nose that separates the nostrils. For some people, the columella continues past the nostrils, which we refer to as a hanging columella. This is a common complaint from patients and is also easily treatable.

When the nose has a dorsal hump or a drooping tip, it looks aesthetically longer when it’s looked at from the front. This is what surgeons refer to as a long nose.

A nasal dorsum is essentially just the nose’s bridge. Starting from the lower eyebrows and ending at the tip of the nose, a nasal dorsum is a defining feature that can add essential symmetry. Many patients come in wanting to make their nasal dorsum more defined or pronounced.

When a patient’s nose needs some major adjustments made, an open rhinoplasty will be required. In other words, a surgeon will need to make an incision to go in and adjust the nasal skeleton. This leaves a noticeable scar that will become less and less visible with time and care.

When the bridge of the nose appears to be rather high and elevated as if it ends abruptly, this is known as a pig nose. Some patients have a pig nose directly after the procedure, however, this is only temporary. Once it begins to heal and the swelling goes down, it will look more normal. Sometimes a surgeon has to overestimate so that the final results will look the best once the tissue begins to relax.

When the bridge of the nose is overly narrow, it can look disproportional. The typical “ideal” nose has parallel lines that are straight and more proportional than the appearance of a pinched nose. Plastic surgeons are well equipped to improve this issue and provide symmetry to the nose.

Unfortunately, after a nose job, some patients have excess cartilage on the tip of their nose that it can’t support. This can cause the tip of the nose to sag and curve down like the beak of a bird. Doctors call this a polly beak. This is a common problem and can be treated.

A primary rhinoplasty means the first nose procedure that a patient has. This is typically a surgery that’s done on a “virgin” nose, so to speak, which hasn’t undergone any procedures in the past.

If a patient requires a second surgery, this is known as secondary rhinoplasty. There are many reasons that a patient could come back for another procedure, such as future sinus polyps, short nose, polly beak, or any multitude of issues. Whatever the cause is, it’s helpful for a surgeon to know that there has been previous work done so that they can take the necessary cautionary steps to ensure the successful outcome of a secondary rhinoplasty.

Similar to pig nose, when the patient has an unusually high bridge of their nose, or short nose, the asymmetry can cause many people to desire surgery to fix this.

Typically from the cartilage of the ears or septum, a spreader graft is what a surgeon will create for support and nose-contouring purposes.

Surgeons are a bit obsessed with tip projection, and for a good reason. That’s because the tip projection is a defining feature of the nose. For example, a nose with a tip that’s below the high point of the nose has an under-projecting tip. On the other hand, the “ideal” nose has a tip that’s slightly above the nasal bones, or over projecting. If a surgeon does this correctly, a nose is more aesthetically pleasing.

A turbinate, or turbinal, refers to the long and narrow bones on the sides, middle, and inside of the nose. They work to warm up the air before it’s inhaled by the nose. Unfortunately, when we fight infections or suffer from allergies, they can puff up and even change color. While it’s very dangerous to have them completely removed, your surgeon can certainly reduce their size to make them less visible.

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