Bulbous Nose Tip Causes & Treatments

What Is a Bulbous Nose Tip?

A bulbous nose tip occurs when the tip of your nose is enlarged and rounded in appearance.

Bulbous nose tips are often genetic, although some people do develop the issue as they grow older. The good news is that bulbous nose rhinoplasty can narrow the tip of your nose to produce more balanced proportions between your nose and face, enhancing overall facial harmony.

What Causes a Bulbous Nose?

Bulbous nose causes often include a combination of things: ill-defined, hypertrophic (abnormally large) lower lateral cartilage, a rounded ‘dome’ shape, and heavy soft-tissue coverage or weak cartilage are all common culprits. Contrary to urban legend, there is no link between having a bulbous nose and alcoholism or alcohol consumption. 

Why Choose The Toronto Plastic Surgeons for Bulbous Nose Treatment?

By using the latest technology and techniques, The Toronto Plastic Surgeons are well-versed in rhinoplasty procedures. Our renowned surgeons customize every case to the patient’s specific needs and provide patients with long-lasting results. 

With more than 20 years of experience and 1,000 rhinoplasty procedures, Dr. Bell is a leading authority in performing rhinoplasty surgeries for cosmetic and medical purposes. 

What Are the Treatments for Bulbous Nose Tips?

The best modern treatment available for a bulbous nose is rhinoplasty surgery. We use special surgical techniques to refine the bulbous tip and reconfigure small cartilage edges, all without compromising your nasal structure. Along with suturing techniques catered to the bulbous nose, rhinoplasty can create a sharper, natural-looking nasal tip. Some patients with thicker skin may also require a thinning of the nasal tip to ensure quality long term results, both functional and aesthetic.

1) Cartilage Removal and Shaping

By removing cartilage from the nasal tip and reshaping or refining the cartilage that remains as necessary, our top tier surgeons are able to skillfully reduce the size and the roundness of your bulbous nose tip for an all-around improvement of your nasofacial appearance.

2) Suturing to Create a Sharper Nasal Tip

We use careful suturing techniques to create a more pointed, natural-looking nasal tip. Our award-winning rhinoplasty surgeons employ the latest, most cutting edge techniques to create beautiful tip refinements for patients coping with a bulbous nose.

3) Open vs Closed Rhinoplasty for Bulbous Tip Reshaping

When it comes to a bulbous nose tip rhinoplasty, a closed rhinoplasty technique can be used to make minor adjustments to the nasal tip, but more advanced reshaping may call for an open rhinoplasty technique, as it allows for better access as well as more cartilage removal and nose tip shaping. 

In a closed rhinoplasty, all incisions are made inside the nostrils, eliminating the risk of visible scarring. In an open rhinoplasty, one incision is made across the columella (the strip of tissue strip dividing the nostrils), and additional incisions are made inside the nostrils. While there is a small incision made on the visible skin of the nose with the open method, it is not typically noticeable and tends to heal well. 

Your surgeon will determine which type is best for your needs during your consultation. 

What Are the Risks and Benefits of a Rhinoplasty?


There are many good reasons to consider undergoing rhinoplasty, and most of them are linked to enhancing your best features and ultimately boosting your confidence. 

1) Reducing a Bulbous Nose Tip

Rhinoplasty can create a more defined and attractive nose tip that better harmonizes with your other features. Your nose will be proportional in size and width, with a bridge that naturally transitions into a tip.

2) Improving Facial Symmetry

Rhinoplasty surgery can improve several common aesthetic imbalances between the nose and the face, rendering their relationship more harmonious. 

3) Correcting Bridge Bumps

Undergoing rhinoplasty can do away with bridge bumps, which commonly result from a  cartilage overgrowth. 

4) Narrowing Nasal Bones

Rhinoplasty can successfully reduce overly wide nasal bones which make the nose look undesirably large. 

5) Straightening a Crooked Nose

A crooked nose can easily take attention away from the rest of your face. A rhinoplasty can make changes that boost your long term self-esteem.

6) Correcting a Bridge Scoop

A bridge augmentation using bone, cartilage, or an implant can help restore a more natural-looking and attractive bridge height, as well as strengthen your nose.

7) Health benefits

Rhinoplasty surgery can also help improve breathing, relieve sinus problems, and put an end to snoring!


Like every procedure, bulbous nose surgery has its risks, however, the team at Toronto Plastic Surgeons have years of experience, making significant complications very uncommon. In the rare instance that they do they occur, they are expertly managed. 

Risks include:

1) Nose Bridge Irregularities

Minor irregularities of the bridge may occur due to the shifting of bones post-surgery. Not to worry, as they can typically be adjusted easily with simple molding.

2) Visible Scarring

The external scar on the columella typically heals to the point where it cannot be seen, although occasionally, it remains slightly visible.

3) Compromised Breathing

Following a surgery that reduces the size of the nose, there is a risk of compromised breathing, which is why an airway surgery is also performed during such procedures. Rarely, compromised airflow may still occur and further airflow surgery may be required.

4) Infection

The risk of infections post rhinoplasty is very low, but just to be safe, Dr. Bell and his team always prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic post-op.

Bulbous Tip Rhinoplasty Recovery

It takes one and a 1.5-2 weeks to recover from a bulbous tip rhinoplasty procedure. The cast and stitches are removed after about a week, and the taping is removed in the following days. Your nose will still be swollen, but not noticeably. The swelling will go down gradually: three weeks post-procedure, swelling will be reduced by 20-30%, six weeks post-procedure, it will reach 50-60%, and after a year, it will be gone completely. The tip usually takes the longest to finish healing.

After Rhinoplasty Surgery: Dos & Don'ts

Don’t Overexert Yourself

Give activities like heavy housework a break post-surgery. Deciding when to get back to your usual daily routine will depend on how well you’re healing as well as how strenuous your work is. Most people are able to return to normal activities within a 3-week period. Typically, patients can drive again 5-7 days post-op, do non-contact sports 3-4 weeks post-op, take up contact sports 6 weeks post-op, and engage in face-first activities like diving 8-12 weeks post-op.

Don’t Blow Your Nose or Sneeze

For several weeks post-surgery, it’s best not to blow your nose or sneeze. Yawning and laughing are also discouraged. Challenging though it may be, avoid facial movement (particularly those involving the nose) as much as possible. If you have to sneeze, expel through your mouth rather than your nose.

Do Keep Your Head Elevated

As much as possible after surgery, keep your head up. This means sleeping with 2-3 pillows. The elevation of your head will help to bring down the swelling in a timely manner.

Do Take Pain Medication or Antihistamines as Needed

While pain meds are okay, particularly at first, their prolonged use can cause constipation, so switch to Tylenol as soon as possible.

Do follow all of your surgeon’s instructions to the letter.


Can a Bulbous Nose Be Reduced?

Yes, rhinoplasty surgery has helped many patients with a bulbous nose tip to achieve improved facial harmony, ultimately reducing the prominence of the nose and helping it to blend in and complement other facial features. 

Can You Fix a Bulbous Nose Without Surgery?

‘Non-surgical nose jobs’ are conducted using injectable fillers. Although this route is quick, lower cost, effective, and virtually pain-free those wishing to correct a bulbous nose tip will not see effective corrections nonsurgically. Fixing a bulbous nose must involve the surgical removal of cartilage and the reshaping of the tip, and filler cannot achieve this.


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Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Physician and internationally recognized cosmetic Plastic Surgeon and lecturer.

1 (647) 723-3739 66 Avenue Road, Suite 4 Toronto, Ontario M5R 3N8

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