Background: Projection of the nasal tip is a complex problem that often mandates attention during rhinoplasty. Occasionally, the goal is to decrease tip projection. Most published solutions to this problem involve division or manipulation of the lower lateral cartilages, although objective data on the efficacy of these techniques are limited. This study reviews a series of rhinoplasties and determines which maneuvers had the greatest effect on tip projection.
Methods: One hundred twenty-five consecutive rhinoplasties performed by a single surgeon in a university setting were reviewed. Charts were analyzed for surgical indications and technical steps performed in the operating room. Preoperative and postoperative photographs underwent multivariate analysis to determine changes in nasal projection and which factors contribute to affecting tip projection.
Results: Overall revision rate was 3.8 percent. Cartilage-splitting techniques were used in only 2.4 percent of cases. Multivariate dummy variable analysis revealed that only dorsal component reduction and caudal trim were associated with significant decreases in tip projection. Alar base resection did not change absolute tip position but did have a marked effect on the position of the alar-cheek junction and thus the overall balance of the nose with regard to length-to-projection ratios and projection proportions.
Conclusions: Cartilage-dividing techniques are rarely necessary to reduce projection. Release of the soft-tissue attachments of the lower lateral cartilages and modification of the anterior septum are frequently sufficient to achieve a satisfactory aesthetic endpoint. Alar base resection has a complex interaction with nasal aesthetics with regard to tip projection.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.