Blog

The Basics of Nasal Anatomy

We all have noses, but most of us don’t have a grasp of their basic anatomy and structure. Learning more about nasal anatomy will make it easier to discuss your nasal issues during a rhinoplasty consultation.

The Structure of the Nose

The external part of the nose consists of three sections: the bridge of the nose (the dorsum), the tip of the nose, and the root of the nose (the base).

The cavities on the nose that allow air in are called the nostrils. The area that surrounds the nostrils is called alae. The nostrils are separated by the nasal septum.

The nasal septum is composed of cartilage (in the front part) and bone (in the rear part). Followed by the septum is the greater alar cartilage. The lateral and medial walls of the nostril are made up of alar cartilage followed by four lesser alar cartilages. Together, these give your nose its shape.

The nose has a very small part of it that is bony. The bone of the nose exists in the upper third of your nose, and it exists to give your nose height and support. Parts of the frontal, maxilla, and palatine bone contribute to the nasal architecture.

Rhinoplasty and Nasal Anatomy

Rhinoplasty involved altering, adding to, removing, and manipulating the shape of the parts of the nose to give it a new appearance.

The bone: Since the bone gives the nose height, it can be altered to make the nose look shorter. The bone can also be shaved down to make the nasal bridge look shorter.

Skin: In case you’re not happy with the thickness of the skin of your nose or if your nose looks fatty, it can be carefully thinned down to the required amount.

Cartilage: The cartilage is the most important part of the nose as far as rhinoplasty is concerned, since it makes up the majority of the area of your nose. It is the part of the nose that is the most focused upon during procedures. If the appearance of the nose is to be made thinner, parts of the cartilage can be strategically sutured without causing any alterations in the nasal structure. If the appearance of the nose is to be made larger, grafts can be made of the patient's existing cartilage and inserted in the nasal structure.

Nostrils: The appearance of the nostrils can be altered by making an incision at the base and then altering the nostril to achieve the desired outcome. In some cases, this can mean removing a small section of the nostril tissue.

The nose is an incredibly complex structure, and the information here is only a basic guide to the nasal anatomy. Many of the sections can be broken down into even more detailed structures. For now, it’s best to simply learn the basics so that you can better communicate with your surgeon during a consultation.

Scheduling Your Consultation

Experienced plastic surgeons Doctors Andrew Ordon and Ritu Chopra will be available for rhinoplasty consultations. During a consultation, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your nose and will discuss your aesthetic goals with you. A surgical plan will then be created. Schedule a consultation by contacting our office today.