Is it normal to have uneven nostril holes two days after open Rhinoplasty? (photos)

I just got my surgery two days ago and right away I was able to notice that one nostril hole was wider than the other. The other one just seems closed in. Is this normal? Does it have anything to do with the way the stitches are placed?

Doctor Answers 8

Day two

This is the most difficult day after rhinoplasty. Swelling is at its peak and anxiety as well for many patients. By week two you will have a better idea if the asymmetry is inherent or a result of swelling and/or splinting

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Is it normal to have uneven nostril holes two days after open Rhinoplasty?

Dear Valerie

Its too early as swelling and many other factors will impact the nasal appearance this early. You can better assess your results at 6-8 weeks. They will continue to change for about 1 year.

Afshin Parhiscar, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Post op nasal asymmetry

It doesn't appear that there are any sutures in the nostrils themselves which indicates that there were likely asymmetric pre-operatively or it can be a temporary result of the splints. 

Larry C. Leverett, MD, FACS
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


This may all be related to internal and external splinting as well as taping and not due to the surgery at all.  Wait until all this is removed prior to evaluating this.  

John Michael Thomassen, MD
Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Nostril asymmetry after rhinoplasty

It certainly can be asymmetric due to swelling, taping etc. I am not sure what they looked like before and what was done in the surgery, all of which are factors. Also, discuss with your surgeon their preferred way to keep the incisions and nose clean after surgery. good luck

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Nostril Asymmetry Concerns two Days Post Rhinoplasty

Dear Valerie101, I do see your concerns however at this time with the splint still on and swelling and bleeding it is to early to determine asymmetry. Keep an open line of communication with your surgeon addressing your concerns so he/she can walk you through the recovery process and hopefully provide you some peace of mind during this time. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Asymmetrical nostrils after surgery

Hello Valerie,

I see the asymmetry in the photos, but since it is so early after surgery, be patient with the process.  Ask your surgeon about this and see what his/her response is.  Your surgeon has intimate knowledge of what was seen during the surgery and what changes were made.  Best of luck!

Elbert T. Cheng, MD
San Jose Facial Plastic Surgeon

Is it normal to have uneven nostril holes two days after open Rhinoplasty?


Recovering from rhinoplasty is a healing process. Part of that process is waiting for swelling to go down to see your result. Uneven swelling can mask symmetric structures underneath, including nostrils.

In the first 6-8 weeks the majority of swelling will go down. Over the next 6-9 months you'll experience a downward trending rollercoaster of swelling going up and down depending on your exposure to heat, sun, or salt. At one year, you're close to your final result; however, the nose is known to continue healing and refining by very small amounts for years after that. 

The swelling commonly goes down in an uneven way. First one side and then the other goes down, which may give the appearance of a crooked nose until the other side catches up. The tip is the last area to settle down. It's important to follow your surgeon's instructions and keep your follow-up appointments so your surgeon can track your progress toward a safe and happy outcome. Safety comes first. 

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.