What to ask your plastic surgeon about Rhinoplasty

If you are considering Rhinoplasty to change the shape of your nose, communication is key. I find that sometimes the surgeon and the patient are really not talking the same language when it comes to talking about noses in particular. Explaining what you want from your nose job in ways that are more meaningful to your surgeon can help you get the final results you’re after.

It really is helpful to know some plastic surgery lingo related to the procedure you’re consulting for. During your consultation, communication is key and it’s helpful to know some plastic surgery lingo, particularly when it comes to Rhinoplasty.

The 3 most common words, words heard most often from patients who are bothered by the shape of their noses, are hump, wide, and long. My nose is too wide, or too long, or there’s a hump in my nose. While a hump is fairly easy to point to and notice right off, “too long” and “too wide” can have different meanings. So in this video I teach you how to talk the surgeon’s language so that he or she understands exactly what you’re trying to say.

There are no long medical terms to memorize, just a general understanding of the various meanings that “too wide” or “too long” can have. But if you want some notes, you’ll find them in this blog post. You might also want to take a look at our photo gallery to see how some of our Rhinoplasty patients were able to get their desired results after their super-specific consultations.

Contact our office for a consult


Hi, my name is Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez and today we’re going to talk about Rhinoplasty (or a nose job).

I find that, in most circumstances in Plastic Surgery, there’s a disconnect between what the patient is trying to tell the surgeon and what the surgeon understands the patient’s problem is. So communication is key.

The problem is that most of the time surgeon and patient are really not talking the same language. Today, what I’m going to teach you is how to talk the surgeon’s language so he understands perfectly what you are trying to tell him.

Now, when a patient comes to my clinic asking for a Rhinoplasty, or a nose job, I hear three words most often. “My nose is too wide,” or “My nose is too long,” or “I’ve got a hump.” Well, the hump everybody pretty much understands, but the other terms – wide and long – have a lot of different meanings.

Let’s break it down: The first term I’m going to teach you about is the width. The nose can be wide at the nostrils and that is called the Alar Base width. You don’t have to remember those words, just tell the surgeon, “I think my nostrils are too wide.”

Now, the nose can also be wide at the tip, and that’s a really important one because most of the time when patient’s tell me their nose is wide I don’t know whether they mean wide up here in the dorsum or whether they mean wide at the tip, so, go ahead and tell them, “I think my tip is too wide.”

The third place a nose can be wide, from the frontal view or just as a surgeon looks at your face, is the dorsum. Okay, so the dorsum can have a hump, for example when looked at from the side, but can be perfect width from the front. So it’s important to describe to the surgeon that you don’t like it from the front view.

The other term that gets said a lot and I don’t really know what it means is long. The nose can be long either going from the root of the nose to the tip of the nose, and that’s this dimension in here and in those cases the tip appears to point down. And when people say that the nose grows as you get older, it’s not that the nose grows, it really is the tip sort of comes down and makes the nose appear a little bit longer.

The other dimension is actual projection of the nose, from the cheek. Okay, so the nose can be long that way – but don’t tell him long, just tell the surgeon the projection of the nose is what you don’t like.

I think just keep those few terms in mind. This is relatively easy and I think you’ll do great communicating with your surgeon.

In any case, good luck with your Rhinoplasty. And also, keep the comments coming, keep on writing the questions. As you write those questions I can answer them on a video and hopefully make things clear for you. Make any suggestions you want. And thank you very much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *