Normal and variant anatomy of the nasal tip

Facial Plast Surg. 2012 Apr;28(2):137-44. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1309291. Epub 2012 May 6.


A thorough understanding of nasal tip anatomy is a prerequisite to understanding the nuances of restructuring the nasal tip. The three-dimensional structural anatomy of the nasal tip is complex. Additionally, the interrelationship between these structures determines the ultimate form and function of the nasal tip. As a result, alteration of one structure in the tip will often lead to change in other portions of the nasal tip. This dynamic concept of anatomy in the nasal tip makes proper alteration of the nasal tip one of the most challenging tasks faced by a rhinoplasty surgeon. This article provides a fundamental knowledge of the normal anatomy of the tip structures and how their interaction with each other determines the shape and support of the lower portion of the nose. It also provides a description of some common variants of tip anatomy that cause patients to seek consultation for rhinoplasty. A proper understanding of the concepts presented provides a foundation to build on as the reader continues to explore the "nuances of the nasal tip."

MeSH terms

  • Cleft Lip / pathology
  • Humans
  • Nasal Cartilages / anatomy & histology
  • Nasal Septum / anatomy & histology
  • Nose / abnormalities
  • Nose / anatomy & histology*
  • Rhinoplasty / methods*