Rhinoplasty – “Samurai Nostrils”?

As one of the leading rhinoplasty specialists in the United States, Dr. Randal Haworth continues to challenge himself to be the best he can be. By constantly questioning his results and asking himself how he can do things better, he feels he is subjecting himself to the highest quality assurance and delivering the best possible outcomes in plastic surgery .

Performing rhinoplasties are one of my favorite specialty since the nose place such a central role in the total harmony of the face. Consider it like one of the leading instruments in the orchestra. Though most plastic surgeons and patients alike obsess on nasal humps, wide bones as well as drooping, boxy, pinched and ill-defined tips and, of course, the width of the nostrils, little attention is paid to the actual shape of the nostrils. In other words, a surgeon should not only assess whether the nostrils are wide at their base, but also whether they are arched, pointy, thick or sigmoid in shape.

One of the most common and unflattering nostril shape is that of the “samurai nostril”. Look at the following two photographs and you will see what I mean.
Seven samurai
Another example of these flared nostrils that may look appropriate as a menacing sign but not a flattering one for beautiful woman
Flared nostrils of the nose before a rhinoplasty
A samurai mask manifesting the flared, aggressive shaped nostrils that are unappealing in a woman

There are a few ways to correct this but probably the most reliable is to harvest a “composite” graft from the hidden portion of one’s ear. This detailed surgery involves insinuating this graft between an incision made on the inside of the nose, corresponding to the actual width of the retracted portion of the nostril. This graft is then sutured into place with the skin side facing the actual inside of the nostril to maintain the continuity of it’s lining. One can lower the nostril about 3 to 4 mm with this technique. Of course, some resorption of the graft occurs so it is best to over-correct this.

Other techniques involve strategic V-Y plasties, which are essentially internal tissue rearrangements of the inner aspect of the nostril in order to lower its rim, cartilage grafts in the actual substance of the nostril to help correct pinched tips while lowering the rim and, finally, filler. These latter techniques, though successful to some degree, are not as effective as an ear “composite” graft.

Note the following two cases in which “composite” grafts were taken from the ear and placed within the nostril to lower them. Of note, simultaneous upper lip lifts to further enhance a feminine appearance were performed.

Preoperative transgender patient with retracted nostrils
Transgender patient was retracted nostrils, long upper lip and droopy corners of the lip

Transgender patient after composite grafts to lower the nostril rims and an upper lip lift with DAO release
Dr. HAWORTH performed a modified rhinoplasty by lowering the nasal arched “samurai” rims (nostrils) as well as an upper lip lift and DAO release to lift up the droopy corners of the mouth

Patient with a long upper lip and retracted "Samurai"nostrils after a previous rhinoplasty
Patient with a long upper lip and retracted “Samurai”nostrils after a previous rhinoplasty by  another surgeon

Dr. Haworth performed an upper lip lit along with nostril rim lowering and fat transfer to the lips
Dr. Haworth performed an upper lip lift along with nostril rim lowering via a composite graft from the ear. Fat transfer was also performed into the upper and lower lips. Notice the more feminine harmony