Cosmetic Surgery Rhinoplasty Nose Shape

For such a small part of the body, the nose is surprisingly complex. People considering nose surgery should be aware of what shapes a nose, as it will help them better understand what nose surgery involves and what part or parts of the nose will be affected.

Anatomy of the Nose

The nose is made up of a number of parts and contains numerous bones and a great deal of cartilage. For the most part, the shape the nose takes is determined by the ethmoid bone and the nasal septum.

The ethmoid bone is one of the bones in the skull. It serves to separate the nasal cavity from the skull. The ethmoid bone is located at the top of the nose between the two eye sockets, which are called orbits.

The nasal septum is the wall inside the nasal cavity that separates the left nostril from the right nostril. The nasal septum is generally in the middle of the nose. In some cases, however, it can be located further to one side of the nose than the other. When the nasal septum is located significantly further to one side, it is called a deviated septum.

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum can cause breathing problems in some people. Respiratory issues and constant stuffiness are also problematic for some people who have deviated septums.

Medications and nasal sprays can relieve symptoms for some people, but a deviated septum can be corrected only through septology surgery. Septology moves the nasal septum to the center of the nose. This type of surgery does not alter the outer appearance of the nose and corrects only the internal parts of the nose.

Nose Skin, Soft Tissue and Nerves

The nose has a great deal of skin and soft tissue. The skin of the nose is divided into three parts:

  1. The top third of the nasal skin is thicker than the other areas of the nose. This part of the skin is closest to the forehead and the eyes.
  2. The middle third of the nasal skin is thinner than the skin at the top and the bottom of the nose. This part of the skin covers the nasal bones.
  3. The bottom third of the nasal skin is also thick. This part of the skin is the nearest to the nostrils.

The nose also has a number of blood vessels and veins that help provide blood to the nose. In addition, it has a complex lymphatic system and network of nerves that serve to distribute the sensory intake of the nose. The nose is used both for breathing and for smelling, so these nerves are extremely important to a person’s senses.

Rhinoplasty: Altering the Shape of the Nose

Many people are unhappy with the shape of their nose. Rhinoplasty, also known as nose surgery or a nose job, is one of five most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. Rhinoplasty can alter virtually any aspect of the nose, including:

  • bumps
  • length
  • shape
  • size
  • width.

Rhinoplasty can also alter any birth defects and bring balance to facial symmetry. Nose surgery can also improve a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem.


eMedicine (2006). Nose Anatomy. Retrieved November 2, 2007, from the eMedicine Web site:

The Rhinoplasty Center (n.d.). Anatomy of the Nose. Retrieved November 2, 2007, from The Rhinoplasty Center Web site: