Esthetic anatomy of the nose


  • Presented in modified form at the Meeting of the Middle Section, American Laryngologlcal, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc., Omaha, Nebr., January 21-23, 1972.

  • From the Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa


The sex, age, body build and general facial characteristics should influence the pre-operative considerations in designing an “ideal” nose for any patient requesting a corrective rhinoplasty.

Certain acceptable points of difference between the desired “male” and “female” noses are described. The process of aging also affects the appearance of the nose; and such changes should be taken into consideration when planning a rhinoplasty on an older patient, so that there should be harmony of all the facial features. There are certain other characteristics of nasal physiognomy to be considered pre-operatively in respect to the patient's height as well as the general shape of the face and the outline of the profile; moreover, consideration should be given to possible desirable changes that may be brought about in altering an existing malocclusion or an imbalance between the jaws.

The features of an “ideal” nose are described. It is suggested that, in comparing a given nose with the imaginary “ideal” for any specific patient, the deformities that require correction — providing they are considered amenable to correction — may be noted in a piecemeal fashion. This is recommended for the inexperienced surgeon who is not very esthetically minded, to enable him to evaluate the sum of deformities preoperatively, and to tackle them step-by-step at the operation.