Christopher Thomson F.R.A.C.S
Ear, Nose and Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery
Phone: +64 (03) 356 0274
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Glossary of Terms

Alar The nasal skin that forms the outside of the nostril
Alar (base) reduction Narrowing the width of the nostrils and Ala
Ante helical fold This is the fold in the cartilage at the back of the ear between the edge of the ear and the bowl shaped area around the opening of the ear canal.
Augmentation Rhinoplasty Surgery to strengthen and / or enlarge the nose, often performed after previous trauma or surgery.
Blepharoplasty A procedure in which the physician surgically removes excess fat, muscle, and skin from both the upper and lower eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye
Bossing A mis-shapen nasal tip
Bifid Divided by a cleft
Cartilage Cartilage is that structure in your body that is firm like bone but is more flexible and can bend and take different shapes. Your ear is made up of cartilage. The nose is composed primarily of cartilage NOT BONE. The 3 nasal cartilages are septal cartilage, upper lateral and lower lateral cartilage.
Cephalic trim Removal of some of the superior margin of the lower lateral cartilage.
Columella The partition between the two nostrils that can be grasped between thumb and forefinger.
Columella strut A supportive strut of cartilage placed between the lower lateral cartilages to support and project the tip
Conchal Bowl This is the saucer shaped area that lies around and behind the opening of the ear canal. Variants in the shape of this can render the external ears prominent.
Dorsum The bridge of the nose
Dome The apex of the lower lateral cartilage at the junction of the medial and lateral crurae.
Dorsal Referring to the dorsum
Hump A bump on the bridge of the nose
Hump reduction Removing a bump on the bridge of the nose
Jowling Formation of sagging soft tissue along the side of the jaw line.
Lower lateral cartilage (LLC) The cartilages that make up the lower third (tip) of the nose. The LLC are paired, one for each side of the nose
Malar fat pad A triangular eminence of fatty tissue that overlies the cheek bone.
Nasal Bones Actually the very small paired nasal bones that comprise just the tip of the bony nasal component (the remainder of that coming from the maxillary bone). Used typically however to refer to the entire bony nose
Nasal sill The small skin “step” separating the upper lip with the nostril
Nasal tip The tip of the nose, the lower one third of the nose composed of the paired lower lateral cartilages
Nasion The valley or recessed area seen on profile that is just below the eyebrows and is considered to be where the nose “starts”. Ideally it should be at the same level as the tips of the upper eyelashes. It corresponds to the nasofrontal suture line.
Nasofrontal Suture Line The junction of the frontal bone (the forehead bone) and the nasal bones. It is a horizontal line that lies at the base of the valley or recess area seen on a skeletal profile that is just below the forehead bone and just above the insertion of the nasal bones into the forehead bone.
Nasolabial fold An oblique skin fold that extends from the side of the nose to the lateral aspect of the upper lip.
Nostril The paired holes in the nose where air passes in and out when breathing
Nostril Show The condition when the nostrils are very visible on frontal view
Medial and Lateral Inwards and outwards
Osteotomy Cuts made in the nasal bones such that the bones can be made mobile. This allows the bones to be moved in or out to narrow or widen a nose respectively. Osteotomies are also performed to reshape a broken or twisted nose.
Open roof The open space on the back of the nasal bones left after hump reduction and before infracture.
Quadrangular cartilage See septum
Projection The distance between the tip of the nose and the facial plane. (For people who can’t exactly understand this concept, think of Pinocchio. Each time he lied, his nasal tip projection increased!) See associated term rotation.
Rasp Noun. The term for a variety of instruments used to remove the bump on the nasal bridge
Rhinion The dorsal junction of the nasal bones and cartilages
Rhytidectomy Technical term for a face lift.
Rotation Rotation refers to the position of the tip relative to the upper lip. A “rotated tip” is pushed away from the upper lip, as can be done by gently pushing your tip up with your finger. (Too much rotation causes excessive nostril show). A counter-rotated tip brings the tip closer to the lip, as occurs when the tip of the nose is pushed toward the upper lip. An ideal tip is slightly rotated up. See droopy tip
Septum The partition between the right and left nasal cavities (see photo)
Septoplasty An operation that fixes a septum that is deflected into one or both sides of the nasal cavity. A deflected septum causes the nasal passages to become very narrow and impairs breathing.
SMAS This is the superficial musculoaponeurotic system. A fibromuscular sheet of tissue that extends across the face into the neck where it merges with the platisma muscle, a sheet of muscle in the same plane. This layer is pulled up on face lift surgery.
Supratip The depression just above the tip of the nose that separates the nasal dorsum with the tip of the nose.
Sidewall The side of the nose above the alae
Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty Blepharoplasty performed via hidden incision in the conjunctival membrane which lies on the inner aspect of the lower lid.
Transcutaneous Blepharoplasty Blepharoplasty performed via a skin crease incision in the lower lid parallel to and just below the lash line.
Turbinate The organ inside the nose (one on each side) that humidifies, filters, and warms inspired air. When too large the turbinates can actually be responsible for causing nasal obstruction.
Upper lateral cartilage Triangular shaped cartilages attached to the nasal bones above and the nasal septum in the midline, see photo.
Upper lid fold A crease in the upper lid that lies a few mm above the lash line. This is the lower margin for incisions in upper lid blepharoplasty.
Vestibule The area inside the nose just inside the nostril

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