Question: What’s so important about the anatomy of the nose?

Answer: The anatomy of the nose is so important because it’s the main reason why your nose looks the way that it does. Because of that, it’s essential that the nose’s anatomy be accurately assessed, whether for a first-time rhinoplasty or a revision procedure, in order to develop a realistic and rational surgical plan. Accurately assessing the nose takes skill and experience.

Question: Can you give a simplified description of the nose’s anatomy?

Answer: Below is a simplified diagram of the nose’s anatomy, including the surface anatomy and the structural (beneath the surface) anatomy. These are reprinted with permission from the textbook Rhinoplasty Dissection Manual by Dr. Daniel Becker and Dr. Dean Toriumi.

Surface Anatomy of the Nose

You might want to print out the images, so that you can refer to them if necessary while browsing the rest of the website.

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Figure 1: Frontal

1 – glabella
2 – nasion
3 – tip-defining points
4 – alar-sidewall
5 – supra-alar crease
6 – philtrum

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Figure 2: Base

1 – infratip lobule
2 – columella
3 – alar sidewall
4 – facet, or soft-tissue triangle
5 – nostril sill
6 – columella-labial angle or junction
7 – alar-facial groove or junction
8 – tip defining points

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Figure 3: Lateral

1 – glabella
2 – nasion, nasofrontal angle
3 – rhinion (osseocartilaginous junction)
4 – supratip
5 – tip-defining points
6 – infratip lobule
7 – columella
8 – columella-labial angle or junction
9 – alar-facial groove or junction

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Figure 4: Oblique

1 – glabella
2 – nasion, nasofrontal angle
3 – rhinion
4 – alar sidewall
5 – alar-facial groove or junction
6 – supratip
7 – tip-defining point
8 – philtrum

Figures 5-7 show the internal anatomy, beneath the skin.

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Figure 5: Oblique

1 – nasal bone
2 – nasion (nasofrontal suture line)
3 – internasal suture line
4 – nasomaxillary suture line
5 – ascending process of maxilla
6 – rhinion (osseocartilaginous junction)
7 – upper lateral cartilage
8 – caudal edge of upper lateral cartilage
9 – anterior septal angle
10 – lower lateral cartilage – lateral crus
11 – medial crural footplate
12 – intermediate crus
13 – sesamoid cartilage
14 – pyriform aperture

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Figure 6: Lateral

1 – nasal bone
2 – nasion (nasofrontal
suture line)
3 – internasal suture line
4 – nasomaxillary suture
line
5 – ascending process of
maxilla
6 – rhinion
(osseocartilaginous
junction)
7 – upper lateral cartilage
8 – caudal edge of upper
lateral cartilage
9 – anterior septal angle
10 – lower lateral cartilage
lateral crus
11 – medial crural footplate
12 – intermediate crus
13 – sesamoid cartilage
14 – pyriform aperture

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Figure 7: Base

1 – tip-defining point
2 – intermediate crus
3 – medial crus
4 – medial crural footplate
5 – caudal septum
6 – lateral crus
7 – naris
8 – nostril floor
9 – nostril sill
10 – alar lobule
11 – alar-facial groove or
junction
12 – nasal spine

The septum is the midline structure inside your nose that divides your nose into left and right. The septum is an important structure in septorhinoplasty. Its anatomy is shown here.

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Figure 8: Septum

1 – quadrangular caratilage
2 – nasal spine
3 – posterior septal angle
4 – middle septal angle
5 – anterior septal angle
6 – vomer
7 – perpendicular plate of
ethmoid bone
8 – maxillary crest,
maxillary component
9 – maxillary crest –
palatine component

Figures 9-10 are not as important for the web viewer, but they highlight the important fact that the skin over the nose has muscles and blood vessels. This may seem obvious, but it is important because if the surgeon does not fully recognize the importance of this fact, they may operate in the incorrect tissue planes, which can result in violation of the muscle and blood vessels and subsequent abnormal scarring.

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Figure 9: Musculature

A: Elevator muscles –
1. Procerus
2. Levator labii alaequae
nasi
3. Anomalous nasi
B: Depressor muscles –
4. Alar nasalis
5. Depressor septi nasi
C: Compressor muscles –
6. Transverse nasalis
7. Compressor narium
minor
D: Minor dilator muscles –
8. Dilator naris anterior
E: Other –
9. Orbicularis oris
10. Corrugator

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Figure 10: Vasculature

1 – dorsal nasal artery
2 – lateral nasal artery
3 – angular vessels
4 – columellar artery