Is Mild Nostril Asymmetry Easily Fixable?

I had a rhinoplasty one month ago. Exactly five days post op, I accidentally removed a dissolvable stitch from my nose. My doctor said this is the cause for the slight asymmetry my nostrils now have. (the right one's larger and differently shaped). It bothers me as I notice it, and she recommended a steroid shot in 2 months, to make them even, or to re-stitch it in 6. Which is more recommendable for my case, and is it an easy touch up?

Doctor Answers (4)

Fixing nostril asymmetry after rhinoplasty

+2

I would recommend waiting to see how the nose heals on its own before having any refinement to the area. Asymmetric flare to the medial crural footplates is likely causing the nostrils findings. It sounds like the suture that was hold these cartilages in place was removed early. A steroid shot would help if there's extra scar tissue in the area. Differentiating the two causes would require an examination.

The nostrils can be fixed but I wouldn't rush into anything in case things improve on their own. I'd suggest waiting at least 6-12 months just as your surgeon suggested.


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Nostril Asymmetry Following Rhinoplasty

+2

Having slightly asymmetric nostrils is a common finding immediately after Rhinoplasty surgery and I would urge you to be patient.  Often this is due to asymmetric swelling or scar tissue and I have seen it resolve on its own.  If you try to be too aggressive with early treatment, you can end up chasing your tail.  Better to wait several months (6 months ideally) until after most of the healing has occurred.  Then, see what you have left over and go from there.

On the other hand, if you do end up with slight nostril asymmetry, this is not the end of the world.  In my experience, it is most often due to:

  • asymmetry of the underlying tip cartilages
  • excessive scarring from overagressive surgery

The problem is best treated by avoiding it in the first place, but can be improved by a revision procedure to reposition the cartilage.  Generally, this does the trick.  Injection of steroids will help if the asymmetry is due to excess scar tissue and is "worth a shot" in that case. 

 

Andrew Winkler, MD
Lone Tree Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Nostril asymmetry

+1

Mild nostril asymmetry is fairly common when repairing crooked noses or tips with multiple irregularities.  It is often not visible on the frontal view and therefore not worth revising.  Mild asymmetries on the base view are less important because the nose is rarely viewed from that angle.

William D. Losquadro, MD
Westchester Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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Asymmetric nostril

+1

This is not uncommon after rhinoplasty. You should wait longer and see how it is after more swelling is gone. It does not appear significant enough now to try to intervene.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.