Why Are my Nostrils Like This and What Type of Surgery is Necessary to Fix Them? (photo)

Recently I've notice that my nostrils are uneven. When I touch the tip of my nose, on the right side I feel more cartilage than what is on the left. And the middle part between my nostrils is uneven. What is wrong? And is there surgery that can be done to fix it? I am very self conscious and I already want a nose jump to remove the nasal hump I have! Thanks

Doctor Answers 9

The lower lateral cartilages are primarily responsible for your nostril shape

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  I would guess that your lower lateral cartilages (the cartilage pair that forms your nostrils) are either weak, small, or rotated toward the top of your nose.  The repair the asymmetry as well as to increase the size of the nostril opening (particularly if its impacting your breathing) will require an open rhinoplasty in most cases.  During this procedure the cartilages can be rotated or stregthened by a cartilage graft from your septum.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Nasal Asymmetry

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What you have noticed is common. We are all have asymmetric face and nose etc. If you look at your friends also have facial asymmetry. The reason yoi nostrils are narrow is because of rather thick nasal skin. Surgery can improve this but it is an specialized surgery that may occasionally lead to secondary surgery. You will have to be realistic about the outcome.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty options

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Your nasal soft tissue coverage is very thick and may be able to be thinned a bit.  This can also be performed on the  nostrils as well, but can leave unfavorable scarring.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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An in-person consultation would be best to evaluate the inside and outside of your nose and touch the tip of your nose following by computer imaging.  Rhinoplasty can certainly address your concerns.  Please consult with a board certified specialist who can assist you with achieving the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


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Your posted photos show asymmetric tip cartilages and narrow slit like nostrils. It is difficult to tell from just the photos how much of this is due to cartilage factors (weakness, position) vs. thick nostril rims.

Cartilage factors are treated by placing cartilage strut grafts and/or cartilage shaping sutures. Thick nostril rims can be thinned.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship in order to know if this assessment is valid.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty to Help Bulbous Nasal Tip

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Hi Caroline,  You have a bulbous nasal tip with most likely weak nasal cartilage and thick skin.  Rhinoplasty can help with your concerns.  Good luck and be well.  Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Why are my nostrils different?

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Everyone has some difference between the right and left side of their face. It's part of what makes us unique. You do have some nostril asymmetry which can be improved with rhinoplasty but you likely will always have some differences between the two sides.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Why Are my Nostrils Like This and What Type of Surgery is Necessary to Fix Them?

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Dear Caroline,

Thank you for your question and photos.  I do not think there is anything wrong with the upper portion of the nasal cartilages.  The base of the collumela is very wide.  This is probably due to the 'foot plates' of the cartilages in the collumela being too wide, or too much soft tissue in this area.  This can be thinned out during a rhinoplasty procedure thus opening your nostrils a bit wider.  

Best Wishes, 

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Rhinoplasty - Nostril asymmetry

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Nostril asymmetry can be caused by several different factors but in your case it is most likely your nasal septum (divider in between your nostrils). It is easier to determine this on examination, but if your septum is crooked/deviated it can cause your nostrils to be different sizes and shapes. A rhinoplasty with correction of the deviated septum will help to correct your nostril asymmetry as well as remove your nasal hump.

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 67 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.