Anatomy Explained

Rhinoplasty Anatomy Explained: understanding the anatomy related to Rhinoplasty can really help your consultation. Sometimes, your doctor may not be able to come up with some terms that you will understand given that he will not know how much you know. The following will give you some advantage in conveying your thoughts during a rhinoplasty consult. Ultimately, it is our hope that this will help you achieve better results. After all, getting your thoughts across about what you want is the most important thing when talking about your rhinoplasty. To understand how all of this might fit in you can refer to this link to learn more about Facial Beauty and Dr. Philip Young's Theory on Facial Beauty

Rhinplasty Anatomy Basic Terms

The above picture of Rhinoplasty Anatomy covers some of the more important terms to know.

Glabella: This is the area between the eyebrows. It is the junction of the forehead and the top of the nose. This area is usually more protruding than most of the nose. This area should slope downward and inward toward the Radix.

Radix: This is the soft tissue lowest point of the nasal bridge as the nose transitions to the glabella. The nasion is the bony equivalent to the Radix. Sometimes the Radix can be overly protruding. This can be considered less beautiful for both male and female. A stronger Radix is accepted for masculinity but not a desired attribute for a female wanting to look mroe female and pretty.

Nasal Bridge: This is the part of the nose that continues from the Radix to the tip. It is made up of nasal bones in the upper third of the nose and cartilage in the middle part of the nose. For Caucasians, many requests are made for the reduction or lowering of this area. While in Asian ethinicities, many request augmentation.

Nasal Tip: This is the area near the bottom of the nose that is probably the most important part of the nose. The tip centers the whole nose anatomical complex and should grab the most attention for anyone looking at the face. Hence the nasal tip should have a brighter highlight than likely the whole face. The tip's location is very important in terms of how the face is balanced.

Nasal Alae: This is the area that is covering the nostril to the side of the nasal tip.

Columella: This area is located between the nostrils. Its appearance of lack of appearance can have a major impact on the beauty of the nose. It is the column of tissue that is in between when you look from below and up towards the nose.


Orientation terms for the nose

The below descriptions are for the pictures above:

Superior: or superiorly refers the direction that is towards the head. Another term for this is cephalic.

Inferior: or inferiorly refers to the direction that is more towards the feet. Another term for this is caudal.

Medial: or medially refers to the direction that is towards the middle.

Lateral: or laterally is referring to anything that is away from the middle.

All of these terms for orientation can be different depending on how the person is oriented. They can be used at the current orientation during surgery.

Septum Nasal Bones

Below we will refer again to this picture above:

As you can see the nose is complicated anatomically. The upper third is made up of the nasal bones that are connected to the nasal process of the frontal bone. The septum and the upper lateral cartilages make up the middle third and are connected to the nasal bones and the ethmoid and vomer bone. The blue line indicates where we often make an incision. Everything posterior to that can be harvested up to a point for use during the rhinoplasty. Also with this harvesting, often times, the septum is made straight in the process. This helps with nasal breathing. The blue line indicates where we will preserve 10-12mm of dorsal and caudal struts. The dorsal strut is the part of the septum that goes from the tip to the nasal bones. The caudal strut is the portion of the septum that goes from the tip to the anterior nasal spine. The maxilla makes up the anterior nasal spine and the nasal crest. Sometimes this area needs to be altered to also help with your nasal breathing.