Nasal Anatomy


The shape, length and size of the nose is determined by its skeleton and how well the overlying skin drapes over these structures. The underlying structures are usually asymmetrical and have critical roles in nasal breathing. 


It is the complexity of the nasal anatomy that is the reason why rhinoplasty is considered the most technically challenging of all cosmetic procedures.


The nose has a dorsum composed of bone in the upper part and cartilage below, and a tip composed of cartilage.


Tip projection is the distance between the upper lip and the tip. Nasal length is the distance between the origin at the nasion and the tip.


The configuration of the tip is determined by the size, shape and strength of the alar cartilages.




The nasal base is composed of the columella and the alae.

The alae (right ala and left ala) are supported by cartilage - the alar cartilages.

Each alar cartilage is composed of a medial crus or foot and a lateral crus. The medial crus from each side join to form the skeletal support of the colmella. The lateral crus of the alar cartilage is the skeleton of the ala.


The nasal septum is the partition seperating the right and left nasal airways. It is composed of bone posterior and cartilage in front where it helps to support the nasal tip.