Can Rhinoplasty Enlarge or Widen a Tiny Nostril?

Can rhinoplasty enlarge or widen a tiny nostril? One of my nostril holes is medium and the other is so tiny you can barely see it.

Doctor Answers 10

Enlarging a Nostril

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A small nostril can be made bigger with a graft or another specialized technique, usually performed for functional improvements.

The techniques need be determined with your surgeon based on your specific issues.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Surgery can correct nasal base asymmetries

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Surgery can be performed to correct size differences in the nostrils. It is more common for people to want to make the nose holes smaller.  Depending on the degree of correction needed this could be a very specialized procedure to bring in extra tissue to open up the nose.  Consult a surgeon with experience in this field.

Robert Mounsey, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon

Yes, rhinoplasty can enlarge or widen tiny nostrils

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If you have two different shapes to your nostrils that can signify alot of things including a deviation of your septum. I agree that the only way to make something bigger is to add something there. Typically a cartilage graft is needed and likely a composite graft (composed of two parts, skin + cartilage) will be needed if it is in fact a stenotic nostril. Post procedure you may need stenting to support your nose during the recovery period.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Enlarging Nostril Size

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While it is possible to enlarge nostril size, it is generally not a procedure I recommend for cosmetic purposes.  There are situations where a past trauma or congenital issue necessitates the procedure for proper function and hygiene.  I would suggest that you discuss your specific situation in consultation with a couple surgeons.  Be very careful before proceeding as there is a considerable risk that it may create scars that are not to your liking.

Louis W. Apostolakis, MD
Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Rhinoplasty Techniques to Change Nostril Shape

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There are a variety of techniques for changing the shape of the nostrils, including those for enlarging asymmetric ones.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

You can enlarge or widen a nostril with rhinoplasty

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Rhinoplasty is a popular and effective surgery to recontour the shape of your nose. During the surgery, there are many techniques that a surgeon can perform to alter the different parts of your nose. It is possible to advance a portion of your nostril and change the shape and size of this opening. Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience with rhinoplasty and cartilage techniques as you may need a small cartilage graft to help retain the new shape.

Can rhinoplasty enlarge or widen a tiny nostril?

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It is possible to enlarge and widen small nostrils. It is not a long operation but it is a delicate one.

It is possible to perform the procedure under local anesthesia with minimal sedation and a short recovery period.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

As you can imagine, it is easier to reduce the size of a...

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As you can imagine, it is easier to reduce the size of a nostril than widen it. That being said, nostril enlargement can be performed but the process by which it happens can depend on the cause of the nostril reduction in size.

If it is related to scar from trauma or surgery, then scar release procedures and tissue grafting will often help. Sometimes a small nostril is really just an unsupported nostril that needs cartilage grafting to support it staying open. If tissue is missing and this is the reason that the nostril is small, then adding tissue back in the form of a composite graft or forehead flap may be necessary.

In the end your surgeon needs to take a good look at the anatomy of your nose to determine what is going on. This will allow them to better decide what procedure will help.

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

Shape of Nostrils with Rhinoplasty

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Rhinoplasty alone does not usually change the nostril size or width much unless one does an alar base resection or nostril base excision. These are separate entities that are an intrical part of a rhinoplasty if you want to create facial and nasal balance especially in males and/or Ethnic patients.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty to Enlarge a Small Nostril

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Rhinoplasty technique can in some instances be quite successful in opening a small nostril. In some cases this can be a result of congenital weakness of the underlying nostril framework (cartilage). If so, this can sometimes be reinforced with additional cartilage (termed grafting) to help open the nostril further.

In other cases, this might involve what is termed a composite graft, which is a specialized graft containing cartilage and skin together. Keep in mind there are definite limitations to how much larger the nostril can be made. You also need to be realistic and accept the fact that most people's nostrils are asymmetric to some degree.  

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