Map of Toronto Location

Toronto Office
Dr. Richard Rival
501-1881 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4S 3C4
Phone: (866) 229-3223
Outside Ontario: (905) 830-6711
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Map of Newmarket Location

Newmarket Office
Dr. Richard Rival
712 Davis Drive, Suite 101A
Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C3
Phone: (905) 830-6711
Outside Ontario: (905) 830-6711
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Keeping It Real: What a Rhinoplasty Can and Can’t Fix

A young, green-eyed woman with her hair in a bun poses with a soft stare.

Imagine someone telling Pinocchio that he could have a nose like Mickey Mouse. That person might as well be Pinocchio themselves (and see their nose stretch) for telling fibs.

Here’s the truth.

You can change the way your nose looks to a dramatic extent, but you can’t entirely change the nose itself especially, when it comes to its underlying structure. This post will discuss what rhinoplasty can and can’t fix to prevent unrealistic expectations.

What rhinoplasty can fix

Make no mistake about it — a rhinoplasty can make you look and feel like a brand new person, a “You-2.0” if you will. Innovative techniques and tools have turned surgeons into Michaelangelos, sculpting these beautifully chiselled noses in ways they couldn’t before. And of course, they’ll continue to get better.

With that said, they can fix most of the imperfections that people want removed from their noses, and to great effect. Surgeons can reshape, resize and reposition nasal cartilage, especially in the septum and at the tip of the nose. They can also modify nasal bones, which is particularly useful when wanting to reduce the size of the nose or improve its symmetry.

Cosmetic issues rhinoplasties can fix

  • Reduce an overly pointy or projected nose.
  • Realign an asymmetrical or bulbous nose tip.
  • Remove dips and bumps on the bridge of the nose.
  • Resize excessively wide, large or upward nostrils.
  • Reduce a disproportionate nose (too large or small for one’s face).
  • Rearranged an awkward nose angle.


Medical concerns rhinoplasties can fix

  • Correcting birth defects (i.e. cleft palate).
  • Repairing broken or crooked nose (from an injury).
  • Addressing nasal conditions that may cause breathing difficulties.

With these kinds of changes, a rhinoplasty can shape your nose into a form that is aesthetically-pleasing and medically-sound to give you the utmost confidence and comfort. In other words, after the procedure, you can only go up from there.

What rhinoplasties can’t fix

Of course, a rhinoplasty isn’t the Holy Grail for nasal aesthetics. The outcome of a well-executed procedure can be night and day, but there are certain goals that might not be attainable for a patient. Going back to the Pinocchio/Mickey Mouse analogy, you can’t change the basic structure of the nose.

For example, everyone has unique proportions—size, shape and positioning— that may restrict a surgeon’s ability to alter nasal bones and cartilage. Therefore, a surgeon might not physically be able to reproduce someone else’s nose on a patient who requests it.

Also, the structural integrity of a patient’s nose might not allow more intensive nasal shaping, as that may lead to adverse complications for the patient. Closely related to this is skin thickness. If you’ve got thick skin (great, you can handle criticism!), that can mean it won’t conform to certain nasal shapings as easily. And thin nasal skin might show minor flaws more visibly.

And let’s not forget facial harmony. Have you ever seen a botched nose job? It’s not pretty—it’s what happens when surgeons try to replicate a nose shape on a patient who doesn’t have the facial symmetry to support that look. Technically, the rhinoplasty can produce the nose, but it’s still a failure because it looks out-of-place on the patient’s face.

What a Rhinoplasty Won’t Fix

  • Completely reshape your nose to look like someone else’s (i.e. button turned to Barbie’s nose).
  • Change your skin thickness and appearance (i.e., remove blemishes).
  • Prevent all signs of nasal ageing.
  • Achieve 100% symmetry (this doesn’t exist and wouldn’t look normal).

With these points in mind, it’s important to have realistic expectations. Certain looks may not be ideal for your unique proportions, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing (remember: botched nose jobs!).

Why Rhinoplasty Has Limitations

After reading that last section, you’re probably thinking: “why does rhinoplasty get so much press if it isn’t perfect”? First, remember all surgeries have limitations—rhinoplasty included. But a better explanation for these limitations is that genetics dictate the basic “layout” of your nose. We can’t change genetics (at least not yet).

Researchers discovered a set of genes that govern nasal development, including its shape, size and structure. And as we mentioned above, certain rhinoplasty goals may not be realistic for your particular configurations. Also, genes govern the arrangement of your facial shape, which largely determines what nose shape will look good on your face or not.

Consult PSSC for a Procedure in Line With What’s Possible

But don’t take these limitations as a bad thing.

Remember, just because a nose looks good on someone else, doesn’t mean it’ll look good on you! The best looking nose is the one that best suits YOUR face—not what society, social media or anyone else says. There’s a vast range of what looks “beautiful” when it comes to your nose.

Making an in-clinic visit to see a rhinoplasty specialist is the first step to finding that ideal shape. They will examine your nose’s natural shape, contouring and proportions in relation to your face. They’ll also take measurements and make recommendations based on your age and ethnicity, among other factors.

Here at the offices of Dr. Rival, our team brings a stellar track record of performing rhinoplasties, which our patients are proud of and will carry for a lifetime. If you’re interested in a rhinoplasty, get in touch with us. We’ll help you achieve the best outcome for your nose with no regrets!

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