Is It Normal to Have Asymmetrical Nostrils 6 Weeks After Rhinoplasty Surgery? (photo)

I'm 6 weeks today and my nostrils are still very uneven and asymmetrical. It's very noticeable from the front. My doctors say it's normal and brush it off. I would like to think it is swelling but I'm beginning to think otherwise. Is this fixable? Will I have to go under the knife again?

Doctor Answers 7

Is It Normal to Have Asymmetrical Nostrils 6 Weeks After Rhinoplasty Surgery?

At 6 weeks, there is still a considerable amount of swelling. Your nostril asymmetry may be due to this. Swelling will slowly resolve over the next year or two. You should have a good idea about the final appearance at one year. To answer your question, if it does persist beyond then, it is correctable and would require another surgical procedure.

Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Is it normal to have asymmetric nostrils 6 weeks after rhinoplasty surgery?

After 6 weeks, you will still have a considerable amount of swelling, which can result in asymmetry and irregularities. In general, 70% of the swelling is resolved after the first 3 months and the remainder goes down over time. It can take up to 18-24 months for the final result to be evident. It is too soon to judge the end result, and I would recommend speaking with your surgeon regarding any concerns. He or she knows the details of your surgery and will be able to provide you with advice. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Asymmetric nostrils six weeks after rhinoplasty probably due to swelling.

In the photograph provided it is clear there is a sizable amount of swelling in the nasal tip. This needs to resolve before making any judgment about the final aesthetic outcome.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Nostril Asymmetry Following Rhinoplasty

First of all, it's very important to review pre-surgery photos to compare how your nostrils looked prior to surgery.  Often, your usual nostril shape and position isn't noticed until after surgery when you are scrutinizing every square millimeter of your nose -- something you may have never done to this degree before.  So you, as well as anybody, who has just had rhinoplasty surgery, will notice asymmetries that may have been there all along, but that you never noticed before. This phenomenon is VERY common. Even if this is new asymmetry, I think you'll find that most surgeons here will agree that it is minor, and something that nobody else (other than you and your surgeon) will notice.  This is because in any usual situation, when interacting with another person, not only is the lighting and shadows effecting each nostril different, but your head (as well as theirs) will be slightly turned and/or tilted, which creates an asymmetric view of each nostril. So people are used to perceiving asymmetry in the nostrils and therefore tend to think nothing of it. In addition, it is still quite early in the healing process and changes will continue to occur -- probably for the better.  

Richard Parfitt, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Is It Normal to Have Asymmetrical Nostrils 6 Weeks After Rhinoplasty Surgery?

This early after rhinoplasty, it is premature to be concerned about the final result.   The swelling is going to be very prominent at this early stage.  I would follow with your surgeon.   This may take the full year or more to resolve.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Kenneth Hughes, MD
Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Nostril Asymmetry

It takes weeks to months to heal from a Rhinoplasty.  The answer is yes!  As the swelling continues to go down, you may notice one side looks a little different than the other.  This is normal healing.  Have patience, and follow your Plastic Surgeon's post op instructions for your best result!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Nostril assymetry

The short answer is yes.  Your nose will not heal in a perfectly symmetrical "shrink wrap" fashion.  Imagine your nasal healing like a see-saw.  Might have slow but steady back and forth healing of each side.  You might have differential swelling that takes time to subside. I see what you see...but it is subtle so I have every confidence this will be a non-issue for you.  Wait until you approach the 3 month mark and you will feel very good about this issue and its progressive resolution.

Shepherd G. Pryor, MD
Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 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.