If you notice that the tip of your nostrils are tight and extremely narrow to the point where they obstruct your breathing or cause excessive snoring when you sleep, then you most likely have what’s known as a pinched nasal tip. One of the main physical characteristics of this condition is that it looks as if someone is perpetually pinching your nose or like you’re scrunching up your face even when you’re not. A pinched nasal tip is a very common condition that a lot of people suffer from, but it can be corrected by a complex procedure called functional rhinoplasty.
The reason it’s called functional rhinoplasty is because this procedure primarily focuses on repairing the internal structure of the tip of your nose and replenishing the lost cartilage that occurred naturally or as direct result of a previous rhinoplasty.
Causes and Side Effects of a Pinches Nasal Tip
As mentioned, a pinched nasal tip can occur naturally or as the result of a botched nose job during which an excessive amount of cartilage was removed from the tip of the nose in an effort to create a more defined appearance. Some facial plastic surgeons might overestimate the amount of cartilage that needs to be removed during the initial rhinoplasty procedure and this can weaken the internal structure of the nasal tip. This is the most common cause, but some patients are just born with a naturally thin or weak lower lateral cartilage. If the structural integrity of the lower lateral cartilage of the nose is compromised or weakened, this can cause the front of the nose to collapse slightly, creating a depression that makes it look extremely narrow and concave.
A pinched nasal tip can make it very difficult for some people to breathe and cause loud snoring at night, whereas some patients might not experience any symptoms at all. However, if the problem isn’t corrected immediately, the pressure from the weight of the nostrils combined with the weakened structure of the nasal tip can cause the nose to collapse.
Most rhinoplasty procedures involve either removing or reshaping a certain amount of cartilage from the tip of the nose to reduce the size of the nose or correct the undesirable bulbous appearance that many patients abhor. Even if your previous rhinoplasty procedure successfully achieved the look you wanted, it can still lead to a pinched nasal tip if your facial plastic surgeon was overzealous in removing cartilage from your nose. Under those circumstances, you may require reconstructive rhinoplasty to correct the problem.
Rhinoplasty for a Pinched Nasal Tip
Rhinoplasty for a pinched nose tip is the ideal corrective procedure when it comes to fixing this problem. During the procedure, your facial plastic surgeon will take steps to reinforce the strength and support you need in the tip of your nose to hold the structure together and maintain the refined appearance that you want. Cartilage grafting is the best way to make this type of repair because the root cause of the problem is a glaring lack of cartilage in that part of the nose. The cartilage can be derived from several parts of the patient’s own body, provided that there’s a sufficient amount of it available. The first area to be considered is the septum because this is closest to the nostrils and makes the most sense.
If there isn’t enough cartilage present in your septum, then your facial plastic surgeon will most likely extract some cartilage from your ear lobes. The closer to your nose the donation area is the better, as this can result in a much simpler procedure.
Throughout the procedure, the cartilage grafts are carefully placed on either side of the nostrils to establish a strong structural reinforcement that can uphold the weight of the front of the nose. The tricky part is estimating the exact amount of cartilage needed to cover not only the areas in which it’s lacking, but to also create an overlap with the existing or remaining structure. Cartilage grafts are carefully sutured into the sides of the nostrils using white loops and then these loops are pulled tightly to help keep them in place for the duration of the procedure. The idea is to build up the structural strength of the tip of your nose and secure it in place while also creating an aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Consult a Rhinoplasty Expert
Scheduling a consultation with a medical professional or experienced plastic surgeon can help you determine if you might require pinched nasal tip surgery. They’ll typically perform a brief physical examination of your nostrils and nasal passages to test your breathing patterns. If your plastic surgeon determines that you have a pinched nasal tip, you can then begin to discuss your corrective surgical options. The surgery to correct a pinched nasal tip isn’t quite as complex as a full-scale rhinoplasty. Nonetheless, it does require a great deal of skill and precision in order to render the best possible results both aesthetically and functionally.
The recovery time is fairly short and you should be able to resume your normal activities within a relatively limited period of time. Enduring this surgery is a very small price to pay, though, when you consider all of the benefits of it.
Dr. Andres Gantous at Toronto Facial Plastic Surgery has over 20 years of expertise working in the facial plastic surgery field. He specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures including rhinoplasty, otoplasty, lip injections, brow lifts, facelifts, and so much more. As a gifted and highly respected expert in the field of facial plastic surgery, Dr. Gantous has been invited to serve as a keynote speaker at numerous international plastic surgery symposiums and conferences. On top of that, he’s also helped hundreds of patients from around the world reach their cosmetic and reconstructive goals. To learn more about our clinic or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.