Weir incision

Incisions at the alar base used to narrow the nostrils. There are many ways to reduce nostril size. The larger category term for reduction of nostrils is called alar base reduction. Weir Incisions are the most commonly referred to type of nostril reduction using external incisions.

The incisions are designed to be camouflaged really well inside the grooves of the edge of the nostril where it meets the face.


These are the hairs on the inside of the nose which lie along the edge of the nasal cartilages. These are used for filtration of large air particles, and serve to keep the inside of the nose relatively clean.

These are often trimmed at the beginning of a rhinoplasty to help make the procedure easier.

Vestibular stenosis

This is narrowing of the middle third of the nose which can lead to nasal breathing issues. This can be congenital (since birth) or from trauma or previous surgery. Vestibular stenosis repair is the process by which surgeons widen the middle third of the nose, usually by using grafting such as spreader grafts.

Upper lateral cartilages

The upper paired cartilages. There are two of these in each nose. They are one of two pairs of nasal cartilages in the nose. The other paired cartilages are the lower lateral cartilages. Lateral refers to being on each side of the nose. They are attached superiorly to the nasal bones. Inferiorly, their articulate (interconnected with connective tissue) to the lower lateral cartilages, which are paired as well. The upper lateral cartilages have a lot of effect on breathing. They must be carefully managed during rhinoplasty both for form and shape. If they are not addressed, there may be an undesirable cosmetic or functional outcome.

The arrows show the two paired Upper Lateral Cartilages.


Horizontal columns of bone and tissue on the inside of the nose. There are three levels: Inferior, middle, and superior. The inferior is the largest of the three, and it is the turbinate most likely to cause nasal obstruction. Turbinoplasty or turbinate reduction is reduction in the size of the inferior turbinate. This is often done during rhinoplasty for breathing purposes. It can be done in a number of ways including outfracture, submucous resection (removing some of the underlying bone), cautery (burning it), etc.


An endoscopic view from inside the nose, right in front of the inferior turbinate.

Transfixion incision

An incision in the septum in front of where it starts inside the nose. This incision is used to access the septum for septoplasty and for harvesting septum to be used in rhinoplasty or vestibular stenosis repair.

Trans-columellar incision

An incision through the columellar skin used in open (external rhinoplasty). This incision is between the nostrils and can be placed anywhere, depending on the surgeon’s preference. This is the lower end and connecting incision for the marginal incisions on each side.

Tip-defining points

The areas of the tip that project the most. There is usually one area on each side of the tip. These points produce a light reflex, which is white in photographs. A good rhinoplasty result has two tip-defining points at a proper distance between each other.

Tip rotation

The angle of rotation of the tip. If the tip is too high, this is called an “over-rotated” tip. If the tip is low (ptotic tip), then the nose is “counter-rotated”. Males and females have different degrees of rotation, and also cultural factors must be taken into account when it comes to setting the proper angle for rhinoplasty.

Tip projection

The distance from where the lateral part of the nostril meeting the cheek to the most anterior edge of the tip. The distance of how much the nose projects from the face.