Rhinoplasty for Just the Tip of the Nose

Tons of people are fine with their overall nose shape. However, they may want to get rhinoplasty to change the way the tip of their nose looks.

Many people can get rhinoplasty for just the tip of the nose for aesthetics purposes. It is called nasal tip rhinoplasty/refinement. This procedure will only change the nasal tip, which is ideal for people who do not want a full-blown rhinoplasty.

Can I Get Rhinoplasty On Just the Tip of My Nose?

Many people can get rhinoplasty on just the tip of their nose. The name of the procedure is nasal tip rhinoplasty or nasal tip refinement. This cosmetic surgery is for the lower third portion of your nose.

A lot of people may be fine with the general shape of their nose. However, they may be very unhappy with the tip of their nose. If the tip is too large or small, it can throw your whole face off. Therefore, you can get surgery on the tip of your nose if you do not want to change your entire nose structure. It is a slightly less invasive procedure for people who want only one part of their nose fixed.

Traditional rhinoplasty will often change your whole nose, meaning that a surgeon will perform a 1-4 hour procedure to reshape your nose completely. However, nasal tip rhinoplasty focuses on a much smaller location, making it a less invasive procedure.

Most nasal tip refinement procedures will last for 1-2 hours. That means that you will be under anesthesia for a shorter period.

Reasons Why You May Only Need Rhinoplasty for the Tip of Your Nose

Hooked or Upturned Noses

Source: Dr. Stephan Bessler

A prominently hooked or upturned nose can ruin your aesthetic. A simple nasal tip refinement procedure can shave and reshape the cartilage to enhance your nose.

Wide Tip Correction

Bulbous, boxy, or wide nose tips often occur because of thick nose skin. Additionally, it can also happen because of widely spaced-apart and large nasal domes. Typically, it is a mixture of both of these factors.

Nasal domes are the tip’s cartilage defining points. For most people, fat or a thick ligament separates the nasal domes.

Adding Projection to the Nose Tip

Some people may feel like their noses are a bit “flat.” Nasal tip projection often addresses overly hooked or upturned noses, but it can also add projection. For instance, nasal tip rhinoplasty can help you achieve an upturned nose.


You may be fine with the actual shape of your nose tip. However, an asymmetrical nose tip can be a huge distraction. Nasal tip refinement can reshape or straighten your nose tip to enhance your facial harmony.

Nostril Flare Reduction

Typically, alarplasty fixes flaring nostrils. This surgery usually makes the base of the nose smaller.

In some cases, a patient may get open rhinoplasty to address flaring nostrils. Typically, it is for people who have static flared nostrils when a person has permanently flared nostrils. The surgery will not change how your nostrils naturally get larger when you laugh or breathe excessively.

However, nasal tip refinement can occasionally address flaring nostrils. The nasal tip cartilage could be the cause of your flaring nostrils, which is where nasal tip refinement can come in handy.

Typically, tip rhinoplasty to address flaring nostrils will involve trimming and reshaping the cartilage. That will relieve any excess curvature. Changing the shape of the nose tip can also make the nostril edges straighter.

Rebalancing the Nostrils

Similar to how nasal tip refinement can reduce flaring nostrils, it can also rebalance nostrils. If you have unbalanced nostrils because of your nose tip cartilage, tip refinement can reshape the cartilage to make the nostrils more symmetrical.

Revisions for Previous Rhinoplasty

Not all rhinoplasty procedures go to plan. Suppose a patient experiences an unwanted complication while they healed from their original rhinoplasty but do not want to get another full-blown nose job. In that case, they can opt for nasal tip refinement if the issue is only on their nasal tip.

Many patients may not be fully satisfied with their initial rhinoplasty. After some time, they may realize that they want a minor enhancement. If that area happens to be on their nose tip, then they can get nasal tip refinement.

How Nasal Tip Rhinoplasty Is Performed

Traditional rhinoplasty involves rather substantial changes to your nose’s inner structure. For instance, some rhinoplasty procedures fracture the bone to change the shape, which will make the recovery process longer.

For most nasal tip refinement procedures, a surgeon will make 2-3 incisions to access the underlying cartilage. The surgeon will then reshape the cartilage to get the desired results and then close the incisions.

Of course, the procedure will change depending on your needs. For instance, a surgeon may tweak or shave off the cartilage structure under the skin to make it slimmer.

Another example is how a surgeon addresses widely-spaced and large nasal domes. A surgeon may shift the domes and soft tissue to fix the nasal domes. If the patient has thick skin, the surgeon may put a graft onto the nose tip.

Nasal Tip Refinement. Source: Carolina Facial Plastic Surgery

The majority of the swelling you would get from traditional rhinoplasty will go down 2-4 weeks after the surgery. It usually takes about 1-3 years (depending on your skin’s thickness) to heal completely and for the swelling to fully subside from traditional rhinoplasty.

While nasal tip refinement surgery can help decrease an excessively hooked or upturned nasal tip, it can also add projection to the tip. A surgeon may add grafts to improve the tip’s projection or rotation.

In some cases, a surgeon may perform a closed rhinoplasty procedure. However, it is very common for a surgeon to need to create small incisions. Most nasal tip refinement procedures will leave a very minimal scar or no scar, but it will depend on how you heal.

As for nasal tip refinement, most of the swelling fades after 2-4 weeks. You will see the final result 6-12 months after the surgery.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Nasal Tip Rhinoplasty?

It usually takes about 6-12 months to recover from nasal tip rhinoplasty fully. The majority of that recovery time is due to the swelling of your nose. Most patient’s nasal tip swelling fully goes away 6-12 months after surgery.

However, you may be able to go back to work after nasal tip refinement 1-2 weeks after the operation, depending on your specific procedure. People who get traditional rhinoplasty often have to wait 3-4 weeks before going back to work.

Tips to Heal Properly After Nasal Tip Refinement

While these tips may not guarantee a perfect and quick recovery, it can help make it as safe as possible.

  • Do not touch your scar or bandages.
  • Take any prescribed antibiotics.
  • Use ice compresses as needed.
  • Limit your salt intake.
  • Keep your head elevated.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities.

Is It Safe to Get Surgery Only on the Tip of the Nose?

Nasal tip rhinoplasty is typically safe, given that you are eligible for the procedure. Additionally, you need a highly-skilled surgeon to perform the procedure. The nose tip is a very delicate area of the nose, so it requires skill and precision.

Nasal Tip Refinement. Source: Dr. Stephen Kleid – Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery

Can Anyone Get Nasal Tip Rhinoplasty?

Most people can get nasal tip rhinoplasty. However, it may not be an option if the doctor says you have very thick skin.

Skin thickness ranges from very thin to very thick. People who have fragile skin may be able to get nasal tip rhinoplasty. The surgeon needs to ensure that every bump gets smoothed out to avoid making any irregularity noticeable.

However, the same may not be said for people with very thick skin. Thick skin will almost always grow back as thick skin, even after surgery. Unlike cartilage, the skin will stay the same no matter how much a surgeon tries to change it. Thick nasal tip skin will always look the same after surgery. In fact, the nasal tip may look bigger after rhinoplasty, especially if you reshape the other parts of the nose to be smaller (Taylor et al., 2010).

For instance, let’s say that you had the bridge of your nose done to be narrower and tried to make the cartilage on your nose tip smaller. If you have very thick skin, the nasal tip may appear even larger in size because you made your nose bridge slimmer.

Is Nasal Tip Rhinoplasty Better Than Regular Rhinoplasty?

Nasal tip rhinoplasty can be better than traditional rhinoplasty if you only want to change the tip of your nose. It is a less invasive procedure, and the recovery time is usually quicker. Of course, it will vary from person to person. If you do not like how your nose looks on your face because of its overall size, then traditional rhinoplasty may be better for you.

You may not need the traditional rhinoplasty if you want more done to your nose. For instance, you may get nasal tip rhinoplasty and dorsal hump reduction if you want to reshape the tip of your nose and reduce the size of your dorsal hump.

Is Nasal Tip Refinement Safer than Traditional Rhinoplasty?

Nasal tip refinement can be safer than regular rhinoplasty. It is less invasive since it will likely not include other procedures like bridge adjustments, open techniques, etc. However, that does not mean it is definitely safer than traditional rhinoplasty. It still carries similar risks that traditional rhinoplasty has.

The main reason why it could be safer is that the procedure is quicker. Additionally, the healing time is shorter. However, complications during and after the surgery are still possible.

Alternative to Nasal Tip Rhinoplasty

Liquid Rhinoplasty

If you do not want to get surgery at all or wish to see what your nose would look like before opting for nasal tip refinement, then liquid rhinoplasty may be a good option for you.

Liquid rhinoplasty often temporarily fixes problems like asymmetry and a dorsal hump. However, it can also improve your nose tip, particularly if you have a drooping nasal tip.

Liquid rhinoplasty is a procedure where a surgeon injects fillers strategically into your nose to reshape the nose and improve the contours of your nose. The filler is often made out of hyaluronic acid, which is the same kind of filler you can find in most lip and cheek fillers.

Liquid rhinoplasty often temporarily addresses the aesthetic problems of the nose. However, liquid rhinoplasty can also temporarily fix issues caused by a rhinoplasty.

Liquid Rhinoplasty (Dermal Fillers)

One study proves that it can also fix nasal problems that are hard to fix through surgery (Hedén et al., 2016). The effects lasted for one year for most patients, while some patient’s effects lasted for five years. The study also notes that there were no serious complications.

A huge bonus that liquid rhinoplasty gives you is that it only takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. You also get immediate results from it compared to the 6-24 months that it would take for traditional and nasal tip rhinoplasty.

You may have to be careful about touching your nose for the first few days after getting the fillers to allow the fillers to set into your face. Your surgeon may also advise that you avoid certain sleeping positions.

However, liquid rhinoplasty may not help you if you want to fix a very large or upturned nose. The filler can add volume to smooth out bumps and fix a droopy nasal tip. However, it cannot reduce or reshape the nasal tip. Liquid rhino can only add. It can’t remove anything. For that, you need a rhinoplasty.

Additionally, the results usually last for only one year. Therefore, you would need to keep getting fillers injected to maintain your results.

Celebrities Who Changed the Tips of Their Noses


Angelina Jolie

An excellent example of a celebrity who got rhinoplasty for just the tip of the nose is Angelina Jolie. The procedure done was very subtle, but it greatly enhanced her features. For instance, her nose is in perfect harmony with her lips.

The photo on the right shows that she used to have a boxy, large nasal tip, which distracted people from her other features. The procedure made her tip cartilage more compact, pointer, and smaller.

Jennifer Aniston

As you can see from the photo on the right, the tip of her nose looked large and off-center. She had surgery to straighten it to enhance the function and appearance of her nose.

However, the surgery that Jennifer Aniston got was likely not nasal tip refinement. She had a deviated septum, so the procedure she got was probably septoplasty, which straightens the cartilage and bone dividing the septum.

Despite the surgery not being nasal tip refinement, she is an excellent example of how adjusting the nose’s tip can make a huge difference.

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