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What is hanging columella?

What is hanging columella?

Though centrally positioned on our face, the nose holds subtle complexities that greatly influence our general appearance. One such intricate detail of the nose is the columella, a small segment between the nostrils. Its structure and positioning can significantly affect our profile and frontal appearance. However, not everyone is familiar with terms like “hanging columella” or “retracted columella,” even though these conditions might be affecting their nasal aesthetics. In this blog post, we delve deep into understanding these conditions, their causes, and their management, offering insights for those considering rhinoplasty or simply curious about nasal anatomy.

What is Hanging Columella?

The columella is the segment of the nose located between the nostrils. A hanging columella refers to when the columella appears excessively long or protrudes downward, making the nostrils more visible from a profile view. It may give an appearance that the tip of the nose is drooping or that the base of the nostrils is elevated.

What Causes Hanging Columella?

There are several causes for a hanging columella:


  • Natural anatomy. Some individuals are naturally born with a longer columella that appears to hang.
  • As we age, the soft tissues of the face, including the nose, can sag, leading to the appearance of a hanging columella.
  • Previous rhinoplasty. A hanging columella can result from rhinoplasty, especially if the surgery involves the tip of the nose or the nostrils.
  • Any injury to the nose can potentially affect the structure and alignment of the columella.

What is the Management of Hanging Columella?

Treatment options depend on the cause and severity:


  • Non-surgical. Fillers or Botox can be used in certain cases to adjust the appearance of the columella.
  • A surgical procedure known as columellaplasty can be performed. It involves reshaping or shortening the columella to balance the nasal appearance.
  • Revision rhinoplasty. If a previous rhinoplasty is the cause, a revision rhinoplasty might be considered to correct the hanging columella.


Dr. Kadir prefers the surgical method of eliminating this problem, as it gives a stable result in the long term. Typically, correction of a drooping columella is performed together with reconstruction of the tip of the nose, and tissue reduction in the process of rhinoplasty, often using septal cartilage grafts.

What is the retracted columella?

What is the Retracted Columella?

A retracted columella is the opposite of a hanging columella. Instead of appearing overly long or protruding, a retracted columella seems to be pulled upward, making the nasal tip appear pinched. Moreover, the nostrils are excessively flared or exposed. This condition can sometimes give the appearance that a person is constantly flaring their nostrils.

Does the Columella Shrink After Rhinoplasty?

The columella does not “shrink” per se after rhinoplasty. However, swelling can distort the size and shape of the columella immediately after surgery. As the swelling decreases, the columella may appear different, but this is a reflection of the reduction in inflammation rather than the columella shrinking.

How Long Does Columella Take to Heal?

The healing process after rhinoplasty or any nasal surgery varies among individuals. Generally, most swelling and bruising around the columella will subside within a few weeks. However, the subtle nuances of healing, such as minor swelling, scar maturation, and tissue settling, can take up to a year or longer. As always, any concerns about healing should be discussed with a professional surgeon or ENT specialist like Dr. Kadir, who has significant experience in nasal surgery.

Final Thoughts About Hanging Columella Surgery in Turkey

Awareness of these conditions, their causes, and potential treatments offer valuable knowledge for anyone considering nasal cosmetic adjustments or simply seeking a better understanding of facial aesthetics. As with any cosmetic concern, a personalized consultation with a medical professional is essential to ensure the best outcomes and tailored solutions. Whatever your nasal aspirations may be, it’s essential to remember that every detail, no matter how minute, contributes to the unique beauty of each individual.

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