A bulbous nasal tip is one of the most common reasons for patients to seek rhinoplasty. A bulbous tip, often called a boxy tip, refers to a tip that is too wide and prominent in proportion to the rest of the nose and other facial features. The key focus in our approach to bulbous tips is in emphasizing creation of a sense of tip refinement and definition rather than excessive narrowing.
To accomplish this, we rely heavily on suture techniques that draw the tip cartilages into exactly the shape we want rather than relying too much on older techniques that involve removal of strips of cartilage from the tip in order to make it smaller. The advantage of our approach is an extraordinary degree of reliability and predictability that can do away with potential problems like pinching of the tip, loss of tip support, and breathing issues.
One other consideration in evaluating bulbous tips is the need to address any other contributing factors. Many bulbous tips are not just wide — they are too prominent in all dimensions including being overprojected, or pointing out too far away from the face. Often, and especially in ethnic patients, the fatty tissue overlying the tip cartilage is also thick and needs to be dealt with if we hope to get the best possible result. The open technique is by far the superior approach for dealing with both of these issues because the cartilage and fatty tissue can be addressed directly as opposed to using indirect methods to deproject the tip that potentially weaken tip support. This allows us to create a tip that is symmetrical, smooth, and strong enough to hold up for a lifetime.
The patient below is shown before and 1 year after open rhinoplasty for refinement of a bulbous tip. Note how the boxy appearance has been transformed into a more triangular contour while remaining smooth and without looking pinched.