Revision Rhinoplasty | Short Nose | Upturned Nose | Lengthening Short Nose

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Short Nose

The Problem

An overly upturned or short nose is one of the common revision rhinoplasty problems. A short nose will often appear too upturned, even 'snout-like' and will show too much of the nostrils. A short nose will often have a fake or overly 'done' look and may make the face appear somewhat child-like. Short noses can also have functional (breathing) problems.

The Cause

A short nose may either be congenital (i.e. no previous rhinoplasty) or the result of previous surgery where excessive amounts of the structural support of the nose were removed during the rhinoplasty. In certain regions of the world (i.e. Northern Europe & Scandinavia) short noses are seen naturally.

The Solution

A short nose is treated by cartilage grafting to lengthen and reconstruct the nose. The cartilage that is used for grafting typically comes from the septum, the rib, the ear, or a combination. Choice of the grafting material depends on the severity of the problem with rib cartilage being able to provide more dramatic changes due to its strength and availability whereas septal cartilage and ear cartilage are often available in smaller quantities and are less structurally strong. The skin will stretch to accommodate the newly lengthened framework of the nose. Implants can at times be used but are not the preferred method for lengthening a short nose.


For most individuals 1 week is adequate recovery for returning to basic activities (work, school, driving, shopping). The nose will feel 'stiff' for some time due to the addition of new cartilage. This will improve and soften over time. Most of the swelling is typically gone in 1-2 months and the swelling and stiffness of the nose will continue to improve up to a year after surgery.

If ear cartilage is removed the back of the ear will be sore for a few weeks and it may be hard to sleep on that side of the head.

If rib cartilage is used the chest will be sore for a few weeks and you would need to avoid chest (pectoralis) exercises.

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Naficy Plastic Surgery & Rejuvenation Center     1110 112th Ave NE Suite 150 Bellevue, WA 98004     (425) 450-0880