“The Plunging Tip” refers to a nasal tip that appears to plunge or droop during smile. Believe it or not, this is a primary complaint of the majority of patients seeking Rhinoplasty! The cause of a tip that plunges during smile as well as possible treatments has been a hotbed of debate for several decades. However, no one had objectively measured the movements of the lower third of the nose during smile until now. Using largely anecdotal evidence, many surgeons continue to cut nasal muscles to treat the “Plunging Tip.” Unfortunately, this can have certain side effects such as lengthening and weakening of the upper lip.
On April 18, 2013 at the 18th Annual Rhinoplasty Symposium in New York, I presented a detailed, objective study measuring the movements of the tip of the nose during smile in patients complaining of a “Plunging Tip.” For the first time, patients were photographed and measured to truly understand the movements of the nose during a smile. From this data, we now understand which subset of people are prone to a tip that appears to plunge during a smile as well as the exact movements of the nose. From this, we published a paper in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal entitled “The Plunging Tip: Illusion and Reality,” explaining the characteristics as well as necessary movements of a nasal tip that appears to plunge during smile.
If you have are considering Rhinoplasty and have a tip that appears to plunge or droop when you smile, I encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation. During our consultation, I can articulate the movements of the nose that cause the “Plunging Tip,” and I will take pictures to illustrate this for you. Once you understand the issues at hand, we can design your treatment plan.