Can Different Sized Nostrils Be Changed?

Can Different Sized Nostrils Be Changed?

Doctor Answers 10

Yes, nostril symmetry can be improved in rhinoplasty

Yes, nostril symmetry can be improved during a rhinoplasty procedure.  See before/after photos on my website looking straight up into the nose for examples.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Can different sized nostrils be changed with Rhinoplasty?

 I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and IMHO, the answer is yes and no.  Yes, the size and orientation (vertical, horizontal or intermediate) can be adjusted by Weir incisions and the type of tip technique used during the Rhinoplasty however, the tickness and shape of the external section, of the nostrils, is far more difficult to change and this often result in external scars and oddly shaped nares.  For these reasons, I counsel patients to concentrate on improving other, more aesthetically important, aspects of their nose.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Changing nostril size

Yes, nostril size asymmetry can be improved. The precise way to do this depends on the cause.

Deviations of the columella which is in the center of the nose can cause asymmetries to the nostril opening. Fixing the columella should help the problem in this case.

Asymmetries of the ala that form the outer part of the nostrils can be addressed as well. Having your nose evaluated by a board certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who's experienced with rhinoplasty would help give you an idea of your options.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Nostril size and rhinoplasty

The goal of any rhinoplasty is to provide balance and harmony to the nasal and facial features.  Asymmetric nostrils or alar bases that are too large are easily corrected.  A popular option is Weir excisions whereby the base of each nostril is excised along the nasal floor.

Your surgeon should be able to show you pre- and post-op photos to give you an idea of the types of results that are possible.

Nostril size

Nostril size can definitely be changed in rhinoplasty. Like all other maneuvers in this procedure however the more aggressive you are about it the more risk of asymmetry. It's something to discuss in detail with your surgeon because in particular with wedge excisions their is no going back afterwards.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Correcting nostril asymmetry

Nostrils can be reduced in size, narrowed and made more symmetrical. That being said they cannot be made perfectly symmetrical. Sometimes nostril asymmetry or size is disparate because the septum is deflecting the nostril more on one side than the other or the tip can also be twisted. I would make sure your nose is evaluated by a rhinoplasty expert such as a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Changing Nostril Size

Yes, nostril size can be changed alone or in conjunction with a rhinoplasty procedure by a process called alar base resection. This involves the removal of what amounts to a small "piece of pie" from the base of the nostril where it meets the cheek. This tends to heal great and it well concealed even at conversational distances.

Discuss this with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area.

Best of luck

Vincent Marin, MD

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Nostril size during rhinoplasty

Nostril size is frequently an issue in rhinoplasty, as is nostril shape. The cartilage and support in the tip will affect shape and size, asymmetry can be an issue, and adjustments are made as the tip is shaped and supported, and size adjusted through a Weir technique.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Can different sized nostrils be changed

yes, different sized nostrils can be changed. it is normal to have some degree of assymetry, but if it bothers you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Changing the size of the nostrils with nasal surgery/rhinoplasty


It is not uncommon to have some difference in the size and shape of the nostrils. This is certainly an area that can be changed with rhinoplasty. The two most common reasons for a difference in the size of the nostrils are:

-an actual difference in the size and shape of the nostrils where one side has just formed larger than the other

-an asymmetry of the tip cartilages where the tip is pulled off to one side resulting in the nostrils to be different shapes

Both of these can be corrected with surgery. The first type of problem is addressed with alar base reduction which involves an incision made in the crease between the nose and the cheek to reduce the size of the nostrils. The second type of problem is fixed with surgery that focuses on making the tip cartilages more symmetric.

I hope that helps.

Best wishes,

-Dr. Asaria


Jamil Asaria, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 120 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.