Is It Possible to Fix an Uneven Nostril? (photo)

It's been more than 2 years since my rhinoplasty, and since the surgery i notice a nostril is bigger than the other especially when it comes to smiling. the doctor said it was there before the surgery though i never noticed. is it possible to fix a uneven nostril like the one in the picture? many thanks - J

Doctor Answers 8

Is It Possible to Fix an Uneven Nostril? (photo)

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Based on the posted photos I would recommend AGAINST attempted revision of this minor asymmetry. The risk of scarring around the nostril sill is real. 

Fixing uneven nostrils with revision rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It's really hard to assess your nostril asymmetry using only the two photos. In general nostril asymmetry can be improved with surgery. Depending on the severity of the problem revision surgery may pose more risks than reward so a detailed discussion with your surgeon is vital.


Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Uneven nostril size can typically be corrected with surgery.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Unfortunately I cannot see whether you had uneven nostrils before your surgery because you are only smiling in the postoperative photo. Typically nostril width can be corrected by removing some of the skin at the alar base and the scar is hidden inside the nostril.

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Nostril Asymmetry After Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

As your surgeon has stated, you likely had nostril asymmetry before your rhinoplasty. It has only become noticeable to you since you now look at your nose much more carefully after surgery. There are many types of nostril asymmetry based on the location around the nostril rim.  The two most common are base widening at the lateral ala attachment to the face and alteration of the upper nostril rim at the soft triangle area. It is not clear based on the photos you have submitted exactly where your nostril asymmetry is. I suspect it is at the base but more specific photos would be needed to help answer your question of whether it is worth attempting any nostril manipulation.

Nostril Asymmetry Following Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

It is likely you started off with some degree of asymmetry of the nostrils prior to surgery as most, if not all, patients are asymmetric to some degree. That being said, you have what appears to be a more slightly retracted left nostril (your left in the photos). That means it is more arched than the other side. That is likely what is giving you the illusion that the left nostril is larger. It is certainly possible to revise this with placement of a composite graft to that side to lower the nostril rim. I would discuss this with your rhinoplasty surgeon to see if it is feasible for them to perform under local anesthesia. 

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Nostril asymmetry is common

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You should look at your preop photos to see what the shape differences of the nostrils were before surgery.  Most of the time there is not a significant difference in the before and after appearances.  There are techniques to change nostril shape but you can easily get into a bad problem with scarring that is not correctable.  Be very careful about trying to make something like this better.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Uneven nostril before surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You hands are different your feet are different the two sides of your nose are different. These changes that are present prior to surgery are typically improved but still present after surgery. Also the position to asses your nose is at rest not smiling.It would be helpful to see multiple veiws of your nose

Is It Possible to Fix an Uneven Nostril?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Your surgeon is probably right, there probably was some asymmetry of your nostrils pre-operatively, as no one has perfectly symmetric nostrils or a right and left side of the face. It is very difficult to correct nostril asymmetries and can sometimes come out worse than before. So be careful on what you decide to do.



Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 285 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.