Does a Deviated Septum Change the Appearance of the Nose?

You can see it alot in the photo I have added, most times it's just one nostril higher then the other it seems but VERY noticable. I hate it and it hinders my quality of life. My nose was never like this until I got jumped by six guys at night time. I have breathing problems, alot of clearing my throat, congested alot.. etc Does it look Deviated? If I got a septoplasty would it fix the nostrils to where one isn't higher then the other by straightening the septum? It was never like this before. Thanks.

Doctor Answers 9

Deviated septum can change the appearance of the nose

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 When the dorsal septum is deviated such as in this case is usually related to a concave upper lateral cartilage herniated down to the airway in the mid vault area. A spreader graft composed of the patient's own cartilage could be inserted underneath the upper lateral cartilage in this area to balance it out and improve air flow dynamics on that side of the nose. A septoplasty is only performed when there is obstruction of the Airflow from a twisted bone or cartilage on the inside of the nose and is blocking. This has to be documented for medical necessity for an insurance company will pay for the procedure.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Deviated septum

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A deviated septum may change the appearance of the nose depending on how severe it is. Septoplasty will help fix the deviated septum, but if you wish to fix the nostrils, that will require a separate procedure. Fixing/lowering the nostrils is achieved with cartilage grafts. I would really need to see additional photos and/or perform an examination to give you the best advice. Please feel free to send any photos to my office and I would be happy to evaluate them for you. My contact info is listed in my profile. Thank you and best of luck to you.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

It depends.....

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A deviated septum can cause a crooked nose and vice versa. Without seeing your nose inside and out and examining you, I cannot tell you if correction of your septum will make your nose more symmetric. You need to be examined.

However, asymmetric nostrils are very common. If the tip is leaning to one side, that can also make the nostrils looks asymmetric. Furthermore, your quality of life should not be affected by something as minor as this. Don't let this hinder you emotionally or affect you. Put it in perspective meaning if you want a more symmetric nose, then go ahead and pursue the surgery to make it more symmetric but don't think that your life will change all of a sudden and become better with a straighter nose. Thats just not realistic. With that said, if you gain more self confidence after your surgery - then great. But at least you will not have put excess stress on yourself and your expectations.

Congestion and throat clearing has little to do with a septum but more so with your nasal lining's health and allergies or even the turbinates unless your septum is severely deformed.

First thing is first, see a capable surgeon and be examined.

Good luck

Shervin Naderi, MD, FACS
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

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In short: Yes (Find a qualified surgeon to discuss options.)

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The vast majority of patients who have significant deviation of the nasal septum present with nasal airway obstruction. Many of these patients have suffered significant trauma to the nose, which often results in post-traumatic nasal deformities. This type of injury not only effects the nasal septum, but the nasal bones as well.
Under these circumstances, the appearance of the nose can be dramatically impacted by the presence of a deviated, nasal septum. The nasal septum is an integral part of the nasal support structure. When the septum is deviated the nasal dorsum can become curved and the nasal tip twisted. This can cause distortion of almost every nasal anatomic structure.
The symptoms that you describe are most likely secondary to deviation of your nasal septum. Curvature of the nasal septum can cause airway obstruction and the nasal tip deformity that you describe. Under these circumstances, surgical correction of this problem will usually require combination rhinoplasty and septoplasty.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your nose, consultation with a board certified surgeon with experience performing rhinoplasty and septoplasty is appropriate. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and aesthetic goals.

Septoplasty and Nasal Appearance

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Thank you for your question. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure which generally entails modification of the cartilage of the nasal septum. It is undertaken to improve symptomatic nasal airway obstruction when deviation or crookedness of the septum is judged to contribute to those symptoms. In most cases, septoplasty will not improve nostril asymmetry. If you find your nasal appearance to be unsatisfactory due this concern, you may be a candidate for rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is undertaken to improve the shape and/or size of the nose, and is usually required to improve nostril irregularity. For individualized advice, consult with a qualified nasal surgeon about your concerns. Good luck to you.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

A crooked septum can change the shape of the nose

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The septum provides structure for the bottom 2/3 of the nose. If it is crooked, then the nose becomes deviated/crooked. Trauma can cause the septum to shift over and therefore cause cosmetic changes as well as breathing problems. Septoplasty can definitely help with this. 


Dr. Zoumalan

Richard A. Zoumalan, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Deviated Septum Change Appearance of Nose?

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When the caudal end of the nasal septum (the wall between the two nostrils), it is significantly deviated (rhe region at and just above the tip of the nose), the lower portion of the nose may be deviated to the left and the nostrils may be asymmetrical.  In these cases, an appropriate correction of the nasal septum will often create a better alignment of the nose and reduce the asymmetry of the nostrils; it even makes then appear symmetrical in many cases.  You only presented one straight-on photo.  It would be helpful if there were a base view to see the undersurface of your nostrils.

Deviated Septum & Nasal Appearance

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The septum of the nose is the foundation and contributes to its appearance. Deviated nasal septum is common, but most are not aware of having a deviated septum since their external nose is symmetric. A deviated septum may present itself on the external nose as a big or large nose, crooked or twisted nose, a overprojected nasal tip, a rounded nasal tip, or a hump.

Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a rhinoplasty surgeon help determine the relationship of a deviated septum to the external appearance of the nose. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Deviated nose treatment

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It appears from your picture that the assault has caused a fracture in the nasal cartilages, and perhaps the nasal bones. Fixing you septum alone is unlikely to correct the external nasal deformity.

You will require rhinoplasty or open reduction of your nasal fracture. This is likely to entail cartilage grafts to your nose. I suggest such approach be combined with a septoplasty because cartilage grafts form the nasal septum are ideal for such reconstruction.

Maurice M. Khosh, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.