Aesthetics of the Nasal Dorsum: Proportions, Light, and Shadow

Facial Plast Surg. 2017 Apr;33(2):120-124. doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1598626. Epub 2017 Apr 7.


Due to its central location, the nose plays a prominent role in facial aesthetics. As tastes have shifted and techniques have advanced, the accepted "ideal" appearance and proportions of the nose have evolved over time. By assessing the aesthetics of the nasal dorsum through the use of lines and angles, one can more precisely elucidate a goal for the patient's postoperative nasal shape, which should, in turn, guide the surgeon to execute specific operative maneuvers needed to achieve that contour. In assessing the aesthetics of the nasal dorsum, practitioners calculate and observe aspects such as the paired dorsal aesthetic lines, the nasofrontal angle, and the nasofacial angle. There is also additional consideration given to nasal tip position as this must fit harmoniously with the shape of the dorsum. In contrast to the established aesthetic lines and angles, using nasal geometric polygons for the aesthetic evaluation and development of operative goals in rhinoplasty has recently been described in the literature. Constructed ideals, in the form of proportions, lines, and angles, should be used with caution, as there are many factors to consider in the aesthetic analysis of the nasal dorsum, including ethnic differences, and subjective and changing views of beauty.

MeSH terms

  • Esthetics*
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Nose / anatomy & histology*
  • Nose / surgery
  • Rhinoplasty