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.
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.
There are several causes for a hanging columella:
Treatment options depend on the cause and severity:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.