What Can I Do with my Nose? Injury a Couple Years Ago, and one Nostril is Smaller Than the Other? (photo)

i hate my nose , i know this might sound vain but its true. acouple of years ago my dad slammed my nose in a car door , since he had a 2 car door and didnt Know i was coming out of it so he shut it. imnot sure if this broke my nose or if its broken. but I've never asked about it, one nostril is also smaller and hard to breathe out of. i can bend my nose with my fingers and it will move outof place for a bit.will this be covered by insurance what should i do im 14 and fully grown btw

Doctor Answers 9

Insurance may cover the repair

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Hello missbeach,

Thank you for the question and the photos.  I suspect the septum was injured and pushed over and that is changing the shape of that nostril.  Since this is related to trauma and it affects your breathing there is a good chance that insurance will cover the repair of your septum.  The procedure is called a septoplasty.  No other shaping of the nose would take place.  If you would like additional shaping of your nose that would be called a septo-rhinoplasty.  The insurance company would cover the septum part but would not likely cover the shaping of the nose part.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Deviated septum can lead to Nostrils that are not the same size or shape

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Dear Miss Beach

  • The pictures are helpful in seeing right nostril is compressed by the "column" in the middle (columella)
  • A rhinoplasty with correction of the deviated septum will work. Insurance may be able to cover some of the surgery.
  • Please discuss with your parents and review the options with a facial plastic or plastic surgeon 
  • You can make the decision together. 

Best Wishes

Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

What Can I Do with my Nose? Injury a Couple Years Ago, and one Nostril is Smaller Than the Other?

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You need IN PERSON evaluations!! The operation is a rhinoplasty and correction of the caudal deviated septum. 

Nasal injury and breathing problems

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 Most insurance companies pay for a repair of a documented nasal fracture, or a deviated septum and when there is airflow restriction. These procedures are done for medical necessity. Any cosmetic changes to the nose is considered cosmetic  rhinoplasty and must be paid for by the patient. Virtual rhinoplasty software is available  on the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Nasal breathing problems are covered by insurance.

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Nasal breathing problems are covered by insurance. Each company pays differently. The nose and airway can be treated at onetime.  See a very experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for the best results. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

How you can fix different sized nostrils

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It does sound like your septum was dislocated (or possibly fractured) from your car door accident a couple years ago.

Your base photo shows how the middle portion of your nose (columella) is shifted toward your right side. Often insurance can cover repair of this type of injury since it is functional in nature and blocking your airway. You and your family can visit with a rhinoplasty surgeon to see what your options are at this point.

In the meantime you can read more about repairing asymmetric nostrils at my web reference link below.

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

What Can I Do with my Nose? Injury a Couple Years Ago, and one Nostril is Smaller Than the Other?

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Dear Missbeach,

thank you for your question and photos.  From your story and photos, you most likely had a nasal septal fracture. This means that the cartilage divider of the two nasal passages cracked and bent toward your right nostril, causing that side to be smaller and harder to get air through.  This can be corrected with a septoplasty.  This would probably be covered by insurance.  The other areas of the nose, the 'bump' and the somewhat wide tip can be cosmetically corrected, but this will not be covered by insurance.  The below link is an example of correction of these areas.

Best wishes, 

Pablo Prichard, MD

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

Improving your nose with Rhinoplasty

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For your nose my best recommendation will be removing the dorsum excess, defining the tip and correcting the asymmetries and decreasing the tip projection.

You may also consider a chin implant.

Jhonny Salomon, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon

You could be ready for rhinoplasty in another year.

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Hello missbeach11,

Thanks for your question.  From the pictures you have posted, there are a few issues that can be corrected.  I see an elevated hump (dorsum), a slightly low radix, an asymmetry in your tip to the right of the picture, and, on worm's eye view (upward view from down below) you can see that the medial crural foot plates are asymmetrically positioned.  What you must know is that rhinoplasty is best done once the face has finished growing.  The typical female face stops growing around the age of 15.  After that time it is safe to proceed with nasal surgery.  It is important that this discussion take place with your parents present since you are a minor.  Insurance can be used to manage breathing related issues.  Consulation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is a Rhinoplasty specialist is necessary to understand all your options.

Good luck,

Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 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.