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What is Dorsal Reduction? 

Dr. Philip Miller

March 8, 2022

Dorsal reduction rhinoplasty surgery is a procedure that removes excess cartilage and bone from the nose, refining its appearance and improving its proportion to the rest of the face.

Philip J. Miller, MD, FACS, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Manhattan, New York, and one of the country’s foremost experts in rhinoplasty, can assist female and male patients alike in achieving a nose they’ll love. You may elect traditional dorsal reduction rhinoplasty to reshape or reduce the nose. Other patients may benefit from non-surgical rhinoplasty for subtle corrections that achieve their desired aesthetic goals.

What is dorsal reduction?

Dorsal reduction rhinoplasty is a surgery that removes excess cartilage, bone, and skin from the nose, giving it a straighter, more streamlined look. This can help enhance the appearance, create facial symmetry, and improve breathing through the nose by reducing nasal obstruction or deviation.

The procedure can make the bridge of the nose narrower and straighter, and is often performed on patients whose noses are too large for their facial features or who have noses with an unusual shape. Dorsal reduction is often performed on people with prominent noses, such as those of Italian or Greek heritage.

male plastic surgery results in New York City

What causes a dorsal hump?

A dorsal hump appears on the slope of the nose from the bridge to the tip and can affect your facial profile. A dorsal hump is most noticeable when viewed from the side of the face.

The majority of dorsal humps are inherited genetically. As a result, if your parents or siblings have a prominent dorsal hump, you may as well. Dorsal humps may occur due to a traumatic physical injury—such as a sports injury or car accident—if the bone or cartilage heals unevenly. Whatever the cause of a dorsal hump, Philip Miller, MD, FACS in Manhattan can correct it and give you an aesthetically pleasing, balanced profile. 

Benefits of Dorsal Reduction

Rhinoplasty to improve the nasal bridge, one week post-op, by Dr. Miller. Surgery straightens bridge and rotates nasal tip for a more attractive profile.

The benefits of dorsal reduction rhinoplasty include improved self-confidence and a positive self-image. However, since dorsal humps are often the result of genetic heritage, the procedure may cause identity issues for some ethnic patients. This is why it is so important to rely on an expert surgeon’s skills to achieve the goals of an ethnic nose job without affecting other ethnicity-related facial features.

How is dorsal reduction performed? 

Open Rhinoplasty. During an open rhinoplasty, the surgeon makes a small Z-shaped incision between the nostrils on the underside of the nose. The open approach enables the surgeon to make more precise and accurate adjustments to your nose’s shape. Although open rhinoplasty leaves a small scar, it fades quickly with proper care.

Closed Rhinoplasty. Closed rhinoplasty is a procedure in which the surgeon makes incisions inside the nose without affecting the skin. The primary disadvantage of this approach is that the bone, cartilage, and tissue are not visible to the surgeon. However, this procedure results in less swelling than open rhinoplasty and can correct minor flaws.

MicroRhinoplasty. During a MicroRhinoplasty procedure, Dr.Miller accesses the treatment area via a small incision in the nostril. Then, using a specialized microrasp, he meticulously removes the protruding bony layers until the desired contour is achieved. Patients experience minimal discomfort, swelling, and bruising and typically resume normal activities within a few days.

Liquid Rhinoplasty. A liquid—or nonsurgical—rhinoplasty uses dermal fillers to reshape the nose without stitches or incisions. While liquid filler can’t make a nose appear smaller, it can correct minor indentations or asymmetries without requiring surgical intervention.

Recovery After Dorsal Reduction

Most patients are pleasantly surprised by how little pain they experience following dorsal reduction rhinoplasty surgery. The most unpleasant aspect of postoperative recovery is difficulty breathing through the nose for several days because of swelling. This difficulty usually resolves within a week or two. Expect some swelling around your eyes for several weeks. Once the swelling diminishes, you’ll start to see improvement. 

You’ll need to follow certain precautions during your recovery period. Because bending or lifting can exacerbate swelling, it’s not recommended for the first three weeks following surgery. No strenuous activity such as running, weight lifting, cycling, or cardio training should be resumed for three weeks. Contact sports should be avoided for six weeks to allow the bones to heal completely. You may drive once the swelling has subsided sufficiently to allow for clear vision. Air travel is permitted 2-3 weeks after your surgery.

rhinoplasty before and after results on a female patient

Scarring After Dorsal Reduction

The size and location of scars will depend on how extensive your treatment is because dorsal reduction involves removing sections of bone, cartilage, and skin tissue. 

Scars from this procedure are typically hidden within the nasal skin creases and won’t be visible when you look straight ahead. Many patients choose topical treatments to minimize scarring.

Is Dorsal Reduction Right for You? Ask the Expert

before and after results from rhinoplasty surgery in NYC, NY

Why should you consult with Dr. Miller about your dorsal reduction procedure? 

  • Dr. Miller has over two decades of experience in facial plastic surgery.
  • He has performed over 5,000 successful procedures.
  • He is a facial plastic surgeon of international renown.
  • He blends art and science to provide his patients with beautiful, natural-looking results.

In addition to these qualifications, Dr. Miller offers his patients the exclusive NatraLook process, which combines minimally invasive techniques and advanced procedures to help each patient achieve the Aesthetic Confidence® they desire.

Schedule a Dorsal Reduction Consultation in New York

To learn more about dorsal reduction rhinoplasty in Manhattan, contact our office to set up a consultation with Dr. Miller, #1 NYC facial plastic surgeon. You can fill out our convenient contact form or call us. One of our patient advisers will be happy to help you start the journey to a new, improved you.

Dr. Philip Miller

Focusing exclusively on the face for more than two decades, double-board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Miller blends art and science with innovation and skill to provide thousands of patients with impeccable results. He is known for pioneering the NatraLook methodology for rhinoplasty, facelifts, neck lifts, and other cosmetic procedures for the face.

Settle for Nothing But the Best Facial Plastic Surgery

Facial Plastic Surgery

Dr. Philip Miller and his team of New York's top rated facial plastic surgery experts provide custom cosmetic treatment plans that include a combination of minimally-invasive techniques and advanced procedures, to help each patient achieve the Aesthetic Confidence® they desire. Our unique NatraFace™ approach to facial rejuvenation includes the following effective procedures:

Eyelid Plastic Surgery

Dr. Miller and Kaylyn Plum, PA-C provide patients with Manhattan's #1 customized care and treatment for smooth, supple skin that brightens the eyes and revitalizes the face. With our NatraFace™ approach, we utilize a combination of effective aesthetic techniques tailored to suit each patient’s needs. We offer:

Rhinoplasty (Nose Jobs)

Dr. Miller and his staff of NYC's best aesthetic specialists offer the NatraNose® process, which is a comprehensive range of minimally-invasive and advanced techniques to achieve natural-looking rhinoplasty results, improve nasal function, and meet the patient’s aesthetic goals. Dr. Miller specializes in nose jobs, nose reductions, non-surgical nose jobs, and more: Adjust the links in these sections as follows:

Skin Care Treatments

Widely acclaimed for our broad range of flawless skincare solutions, Philip J. Miller, MD, FACS and his team of aesthetic specialists offer customized skincare treatment plans to achieve healthy, natural-looking results. As part of our NatraLook™ process, the following procedures may be performed individually or in combination with more advanced surgical treatments for optimal rejuvenation.

Services >

Aesthetic Confidence®

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The Plastic Surgery Podcast with Dr. Philip Miller

Tune into The Plastic Surgery Podcast, hosted by facial plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Miller. Dr. Miller is here to answer your questions, de-mystify plastic surgery, and help you feel more knowledgeable and empowered about any procedure performed at our center.

The Plastic Surgery Podcast

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Plastic Surgery w/ Dr. Miller

If you're thinking about getting a lift, nip, or tuck, this app is for you. It's the most comprehensive pocket encyclopedia of plastic surgery terms, before and after photos, and visualization tools to help you really know what to expect from a procedure, including seeing potential results on your own photo. This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.

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