Anatomy Nose

The anatomy of the nose affects the overall appearance of the nose, a person’s breathing abilities and respiratory function. The nose encases the nostrils and the septum, which is the wall that separates the nostrils within the nasal cavity.

In some people, the septum is not in the exact center of the nose. This is called a deviated septum. A deviated septum can cause breathing problems and other problems. However, septoplasty, a type of nose surgery, can often be used to correct this problem.

Septoplasty does not alter the appearance of the nose from the outside. Those seeking to alter their nose’s appearance often get rhinoplasty, which is sometimes known as a “nose job.” Rhinoplasty can adjust almost any physical aspect of the nose. Nose surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in the United States, and can be used to correct deformities, balance facial symmetry and more.

Learn about all aspects of anatomy of the nose, including what shapes a nose, what can be adjusted on the nose using rhinoplasty and facial symmetry.

What Shapes a Nose

A person’s nose is shaped by vertebrates, or types of bones that protrude from the middle of the face around the nostrils. Nose hairs and the septum are also housed in the nose.

In some cases, the septum, which divides the nostrils, is not in the center of the nose. This is referred to as a deviated septum and can be corrected using septoplasty. Septoplasty does not alter the appearance of the nose and only addresses its inner structure.

Rhinoplasty alters some of these nose parts to create an entirely new shape or simply adjusts the nose shape to enhance the rest of a person’s face. Before deciding to get nose surgery, it is important to understand what shapes a nose.

What Can Be Adjusted

Almost any aspect of a person’s nose can be adjusted using nose surgery. Whether a person wants to adjust their nose size, nose shape or nose slant, there is a cosmetic surgery procedure that can help.

However, nose surgery should only be done on those who are physically and mentally healthy. Also, nose surgery is generally only a good idea for those 18 and older or those who are fully grown.

Realistic expectations are also important. A good cosmetic plastic surgeon will discuss all of these elements with their patient and have a conversation with them about what can be adjusted.

Facial Symmetry

Facial symmetry, or the balance and equality of the left and right sides of the face, can be a big source of self-esteem in some people. If a person’s facial symmetry is not exact, they may view this as a deformity and have low self-confidence as a result. A person’s nose is a key element in balancing a person’s facial symmetry.

Many cosmetic nose surgery procedures can help by using the nose, the center point of the face, to bring out and enhance the face’s good qualities. Many of these procedures are aimed specifically toward balancing facial symmetry.


AAO-HNS (2007). Fact Sheet: Deviated Septum. Retrieved October 24, 2007, from the AAO-HNS Web site:

American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2007). Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty). Retrieved October 24, 2007, from the ASPS Web site:

Rhinoplasty Advisor (2007). Rhinoplasty Overview. Retrieved October 24, 2007, from the Rhinoplasty Advisor Web site: