Will my Nostrils (In Time) Look More Circular Instead of the 'Pinched' Look?

I had my nose bridge narrowed and alar base reduction. Its been 14 days since my surgery and I wanted to know if its extreme swelling where the arrows are pointing. Because if this is the case, that would be great because my nostrils appear very narrow.

Doctor Answers 9


At 14 days, there is still some swelling in the nasal base. You should see the nostrils getting more definition as time goes on.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Nostrils circlular appearance

It has only been two weeks since your surgery.  It is way to soon for one to be able to determine the final appearance of any area at this time.  Wait several months(usually 6) prior to assessing the appearnce of your nose.

Ernesto Hayn, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Alar reduction is often needed to decrease the width of the nostrils

Swelling after alar base reduction (narrowing of nostrils) will:

  1. Last for several months
  2. Make the nostrils temporarily look smaller in size.
  3. Can temporarily accentuate pre existing asymmetries in the nostrils

What should you do?

  1. Be patient.  Its only two weeks since your surgery.
  2. Discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 153 reviews

Pinched Nostrils

You have swelling 2 weeks after rhinoplasty.  Evaluate your nose after healing is complete. The fullness adjacent to the arrows on your picture  may be secondary to increased width of the feet of the medial crura of the lower lateral cartilages.  This is easily corrected. Be patient.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Nostril Size and Shape After Rhinoplasty

It is much too early after cosmetic rhinoplasty to make an accurate judgement regarding your nostril shape and size. Please give it some time before you even consider a revision rhinoplasty. Thus far the base of your nose looks to be healing well. Sincerely, Dr. Hilinski

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Nostrils with a circular look

The weir excision at the base of the nose can be designed to address any unique shape and size and your nose looks quite nice. The nostril should not be circular for most, perhaps in some with Asian characteristics but best not in yours. The 'pinch' you have marked is the footplate of the cartilages in the tip, and the look is normal. If you object, a revision can be performed to reduce them or bring them closer together. I would wait longer and see if you like the new you.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Will my Nostrils (In Time) Look More Circular Instead of the 'Pinched' Look?

Two weeks after surgery is much to early to say what is the problem. Wait until several months has passed before making a judgement about the result.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Narrowing the nose (alar base Weir excisions)

It is possible to narrow the base (bottom) of the nose.  This can be done with Weir Excisions or a spanning suture depending on the situation. Both will narrow the base of the nose, and to some extent reduce the size of the nostril. Narrowing is less with a spanning suture; however, if the suture breaks or becomes exposed the reduction is lost. Excision provides a long lasting result.

With Weir Excisions, a wedge of skin is removed from the ala - the skin curving around the outside of the nostril. The excision will decrease the width of the nose at the nasal base and to a lesser extent make the nostril opening smaller. The shape removed is a wedge, wider on the outside, and when the nostril is of normal size, the incision does not go all the way through. This way, no tissue is removed from the inside of the nostril, and the size is maintained. When it is desirable to reduce nostril size, the excision is carried through the ala, and skin is removed from both the exterior and interior of the nostril, resulting in a smaller nostril opening.

Without before and after pictures, it is not possible to know if your swelling is extreme, but swelling is certainly present at two weeks after surgery. The shape of the ala will slowly change of the next few weeks to months. The nasal sill, where the arrows are, may take longer to fully resolve the swelling. It depends on how your body heals.

Be certain to bring up your concerns with your plastic surgeon. If the area is painful, there may be more than swelling going on. Additional treatment may be available to speed your results.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Swelling after alar base reduction

Yes, the swelling where you've placed the arrows should go down in the next few weeks and is due to the alar base reduction procedure IMHO. 

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