Facial plast Surg 2006; 22(1): 028-035
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-939949
Copyright © 2006 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Surgical Treatment of the Nasolabial Angle in Balanced Rhinoplasty

Steven J. Pearlman1 , 2
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Columbia University, School of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York
  • 2Private Practice, New York, New York
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
29 May 2006 (online)


Aesthetic rhinoplasty is a complex surgical procedure that contains numerous components; when performed harmoniously, it should yield a successful, balanced result. The process begins with a comprehensive nasal analysis and surgical planning. Many surgeons concentrate on altering the nasal dorsum and nasal tip but may ignore potential contributions to overall appearance from the caudal nasal septum and nasal spine. One of the key parameters for evaluation and aesthetic treatment of the nose is the nasolabial angle. The nasal spine, caudal septum, and the medial crura of the lower lateral cartilages provide the framework for this area. Alteration of these structures, as well as nasal tip rotation and projection, may affect the resultant nasolabial angle, length of the upper lip, and overall harmony of the nose. Fullness at the nasolabial junction by a pushing philtrum may also result in an unbalanced appearance. The literature is replete with methods for categorizing the nasal tip and recommended surgical treatments. Treatment of the caudal septum and the nasal spine is often an afterthought that is left to the aesthetic judgment of the surgeon. A chart-with recommended treatment for the caudal septum and nasal spine following appropriate profile analysis-is included in the interest of a more systematic process. The chart takes account of the length of the nose, nasolabial angle, and possible presence of a pushing philtrum with suggested treatments to allow for proper tip placement and aesthetic balance to the nose. Adherence to this process provides a valuable tool for assuring a harmonious result in rhinoplasty.