Do I have a deviated septum or are my nostrils just two different sizes? (photos)

This nose shape runs in my family and I hate it! One nostril is much bigger than the other. I prefer the more defined nose shape that the nostril on the right has. My speaking voice is EXTREMELY NASALLY. I was also born with a cleft palate if that means anything... I just want to know if this is a cosmetic issue or something I should really look into getting fixed.

Doctor Answers 4

Do I have a deviated septum or are my nostrils just two different sizes? (photos)

Yes a cleft palate definitely means something.  All individuals with a cleft palate have a deviated and deformed septum.  Whether that is responsible for your asymmetrical nostrils, or whether your nostril size is a genetic trait is not possible to determine without examining you.  Furthermore, your nasal speech is most likely related to your cleft palate because most individuals who have undergone a cleft palate repair in the past require further palatoplasty after their development is complete for problems specifically related to speech.  I suggest you consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who subspecializes in maxillofacial surgery.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Do I have a deviated septum or are my nostrils just two different sizes?

Hello britmechelle,
Thanks for your question.
You have mild nostril asymmetry.
You also have retracted nostrils and tip cartilage asymmetry.  This accounts for the shape difference in your nostrils.
A history of cleft palate can go with the development of a nasal sounding voice.
If these things bother you, I would recommend that you consult with a rhinoplasty specialist and a voice specialist to discuss your options.
Good luck,
Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Deviated septum and cleft palate

 Thank you for your very good question. If there are issues with breathing and function, then most likely you do have a deviated septum. Cleft palate patients almost always have some form of deviated septum. Only at an internal nasal exam will confirm this, as pictures from the outside cannot visualize this. If this needs to be corrected, a septoplasty would need to be in order. Furthermore, if your voice is nasally, then this may be an issue also with your palate. It would be best to get an an evaluation from a plastic surgeon who can look into your voice and nasal issues. In addition if you would like the appearance of your nose changed, then a rhinoplasty can be performed. Good luck!

Kailash Narasimhan, MD
Sherman Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Septoplasty for a deviated nasal septum

 Most patients who have a cleft palate have a deviated nasal septum. To make the diagnosis of a deviated nasal septum requires a thorough examination of the internal portion of the nose. A septoplasty is performed to improve air flow through the nose. A rhinoplasty is performed to change the shape of the nose.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 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.