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Nasal Tip

The tip is one of the most important aesthetic parts of your nose. In the middle of your face, it often defines the nose and sometimes the whole look of the face. If the tip is well proportioned and defined we don't notice it, as it blends so well with the other features that we focus on the individual's eyes.

But if the tip seems rounded, bulbous, or disproportionately large, it can distract from the eyes and make the nose seem undefined. While the tip is a frequent concern of San Francisco and Oakland rhinoplasty patients, it is also one of the most difficult areas to improve. It is particularly challenging to get a great result from the front, which is why you may notice that many before and after views from other surgeons show the profile or 3/4 views but not the frontal view.

There are several common complaints about the nasal tip including bulbous undefined tips, large tips, boxy or bifid tips, asymmetric tips, droopy and/or mobile tips. This page will give examples of before and after rhinoplasty images of patients with these nasal tip concerns. Request a consultation online or call us at (415) 689-6634 today.

Featured Cases

Case 312

ABOUT OUR PATIENT For about a year, this 40-something mother of two had thought about getting a treatment for her nose. She started doing research about her options and came across the reviews and photos for my cosmetic surgery practice. Soon after, I was glad to welcome her to my San Francisco office where I gave her an in-depth consultation. DR. MABRIE'S TREATMENT PLAN For this patient, I per...

Case 94

Background: This Filipina woman in her 20’s consulted with Dr. Mabrie in his San Francisco office, interested in a Rhinoplasty. She had been asked to do some modeling and noticed that on certain angles her nose was less defined than she would like. Her husband, who felt she was beautiful as was, supported her wish to obtain a consultation but urged her not to get “that o...

Case 120

Background: This 21 year old Tourism student is of Spanish and Italian ethnic background. She had a history of trauma a few years ago during a water polo incident.  Her concerns were to: 1. Primarily reduce the bump in her nasal dorsum, 2. Resolve her difficulty in breathing, 3. To smooth the lines in her nose, and 4. To maintain the look and character of her nose. Dr Mabrie&...

Case 201

  Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Background: This woman had long considered Rhinoplasty surgery. Her nasal tip was full and similar in size and shape to the nose of her father. While she liked his nose on him, she wanted something softer and more feminine. After searching several plastic surgery websites of doctors in San Francisc...

Case 208

  Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Background: This young San Francisco woman was interested in Rhinoplasty surgery.  She chose Dr. Mabrie because of his experience with preserving ethnic characteristics and maintaining natural results.  She wanted a softer nose, like her mother's, with better symmetry, a smaller tip, and ...

Case 338

ABOUT OUR PATIENT   So many people are unhappy with their nasal tip!  It’s either "too round" or "too droopy". This young lady from the Castro Valley was concerned with the latter. She wasn’t thrilled with her nose’s curvature or the way the tip pointed downward. As intent as she was on finding a fix for her issue, she wasn’t comfortable with surgical procedures...

Case 227

Background: This east bay woman consulted with Dr. Mabrie in his San Francisco office about non-surgical Rhinoplasty. In general she was happy with the overall size and character of her nose, but wondered if some small improvements could be made. Her two main concerns: 1. She didn't want her nose to look "done". 2. She was afraid of needles!   Dr. Mabrie's Assessment: “This ca...

Case 300

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This African American man in his 20's had a big problem: he had long felt his nose detracted from the rest of his face. While he appreciated its shape in general, he felt it made him look too childlike. During his search for a surgeon experienced in Ethnic Rhinoplasty, my videos caught his eye, so we met in my downtown San Francisco office, where I consulted with him about non...

Case 210

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This patient initially visited my San Francisco office interested in finding the right kind of filler treatment for bags under her eyes. I noticed her nose was somewhat misshapen and injured as well. She told me it was the result of a Rhinoplasty she had many years ago. There has been a hump reduction during the Rhinoplasty surgery, which had caused the middle cartilaginous port...

Case 198

Background: This young lady was unhappy with her nose. She felt the bridge and tip were too wide. She did some research for non-surgical rhinoplasty and after viewing similar cases by San Francisco facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Mabrie,  made an appointment. Dr. Mabrie's Assesment: This young woman of pacific island decent has requests that are common for patients researching Asian rhinoplasty ...

Case 221

Background: This woman was primarily concerned with her profile. She felt the curvature was extreme and made the nose seem large. She found Dr. Mabrie online and consulted about non-surgical treatment. Dr. Mabrie’s Assessment: “This was a very satisfying case. We both agreed that her concerns were slightly different from many of the cases previously seen in my photo gallery. This...

Case 195

< Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Revision  Background: This young woman had a previous Rhinoplasty years ago that had given good results. Years later she started to see a change in those results. She came in to see Dr. Mabrie for a consult with specific goals in mind. 1. Narrow the nasal bridge. 2. Make the tip less round. 3...

Case 110

 Achieve similar results non-surgically! Check out this case: Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty Revision  Background: This San Francisco woman came to Dr. Mabrie to seek resolution for areas of her nose that she was unhappy with from previous surgeries. Her nose was broken when she was 16, for which she had a Rhinoplasty surgery. She also had a Septoplasty surgery performed in 2...

Case 218

ABOUT OUR PATIENT This young lady was already feeling somewhat satisfied with the shaping of her nose, but she knew there was room for improvement. She felt it looked a little round and slightly undefined. Basically, she was looking for a change that was defining but not too drastic. After searching online for a facial plastic surgeon specializing in Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty, she found our before...

Case 325

ABOUT OUR PATIENT After doing some research about non surgical treatment, this young man from Brazil stopped by my San Francisco office for a consultation. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to improve-his nose. He wanted to remove a small distracting bump and make the tip appear more upturned. Facial dermal filler treatments are ideal for these kinds of aesthetic defects, so I was more than...

See All Before & After Photos
See All Before & After Photos

Asymmetric Tips

The tip shape is created by the underlying cartilages and the way they interact with the skin. Asymmetric tips occur when the shape of the two cartilages differs from the way the cartilages are positioned on the septum. Correcting an asymmetric tip may involve modifying the shape or position of the underlying cartilages.

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Bulbous/ Undefined Tips

There are several reasons a nasal tip may seem broad, bulbous, or undefined, including the size or shape of the cartilages, the space between the two cartilages, or the firmness or softness of the cartilages. If the skin is thin to normal, the most common cause for a bulbous tip is the shape and size of the cartilages. There are two nasal cartilages which are c-shaped. At the apex, these cartilages press against the skin and form tip-defining points. Together the two tip-defining points constitute the tip. If the cartilages are far apart, the tip defining points are far and may make the nose appear broad, bifurcated or boxy.

If the cartilages are very soft and the skin is thick, the tip defining point may be hard to see, making the tip bulbous and large. In many of these cases the cartilages are brought together, but additionally a tip graft must be used to press against the skin and create a defined tip.

Drooping Tips

In general we prefer for nasal tips to point straight forward. It is less desirable for tips to appear rounded or to point downward from the profile view. Drooping tips are treated by strengthening the nasal cartilages, either using a strut graft or attaching the cartilages to the nasal septum.

Non-Surgical Treatment of the Nasal Tip

The nasal tip appearance may be altered non-surgically using dermal fillers placed under the skin. Dermal fillers are synthetically engineered FDA approved substances which are well accepted by the body. They last for 6-12 months, gradually turning into water and CO2 until they are completely absorbed by the body. Some dermal fillers may be reversed by injection of another material.

Tip definition and tip asymmetry may be treated with injection of dermal fillers.

While dermal fillers may be FDA approved for use in the face and may be helpful for contouring in the nose, non-surgical rhinoplasty is not one of the FDA indications and is classified as an off-label use. There is a risk for infection and tissue injury. Dermal fillers must be used carefully and preferably by a professional with a great deal of experience with either rhinoplasty surgery or dermal filller injection. Dr. Mabrie is certified both by the board of Facial Plastic Surgery and the board of Head and Neck Surgery. He performs aesthetic procedures exclusively on the face.

Pitfalls in Tip Surgery

Two of the methods used to modify nasal tip size and shape are reducing the size of the cartilages or suturing the domes together. While these methods are very effective, they can also result in an operated on or unnatural appearance after some rhinoplasties.

When reducing the cartilages, it is very important to preserve enough of the tip cartilages to support the overlying skin for many years after the surgery, even as scar tissue develops.

Sewing the cartilages together is a method which is particularly useful in boxy or bifurcated tips. If overdone, however, this technique can cause collapse of the cartilages and create a pinched appearance. Sometimes, instead of sewing the cartilages too close together, it's preferable to use grafts and sutures to change the shape of the cartilages, thereby avoiding collapse and the pinched look.

San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon David C. Mabrie M.D., F.A.C.S.

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The Surgeon

Dr. David Mabrie offers:

  • Double board certification
  • Excellent training & experience
  • Specialization in the face and neck
  • A trainer's skill in injectable filler techniques
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Mabrie Facial Cosmetic: David C. Mabrie, MD
166 Geary Street
13th Floor

San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: (415) 445-9513
Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.