Are asymmetrical nostrils normal after Rhinoplasty? (photo)

This picture was taken in the 3rd day post op. One nostril is obviously elevated and wider than the other. Can anyone tell me if after the swelling goes away my nose will be symmetrical or is something wrong with this rhinoplasty? Is this normal/ a frequent problem?

Doctor Answers 7

Nostril asymmetry

As stated by others it is way to early to make any judgement. Some asymmetries will resolve after the swelling is gone. an that may take months. In some other cases pre-existing minor asymmetries, those that you may not even have noticed prior to surgery, will not be changed by rhinoplasty. Be patient.

Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Swelling and asymmetry immediately after surgery is expected

Dear Chouette

  • Thanks for the photo.  
  • The only think that you should concentrate during these initial weeks of healing is to take care of your self with rest, eating well, and relaxing. 
  • The swelling in the nostrils will change (even when you lay on one side more than the other)
  • Follow your surgeons instructions and take care of the nose as instructed.
Best Wishes on a great outcome. 

Travis T. Tollefson, MD, MPH
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Are asymmetrical nostrils normal after Rhinoplasty?

Short answer: it's far too soon to say. These minor asymmetries are quite common due to early post-operative swelling and can often take several weeks to resolve. Just give it time.

Earl E. Ferguson III, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Early after surgery minor asymmetries of the nose are common after rhinoplasty.

Not only did you have a rhinoplasty that she is had direct work on the base of the nose itself. Some asymmetries to be expected. You'll need to wait for resolution of swelling to see if it corrects itself.

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

Nostril Symmetry Post-op

Thank you for the picture and your question. At 3 days post-op, there is significant swelling in the tip of the nose. This is sometimes more on one side or the other. It is really too early to make any judgment about results -- this is the hardest part of the recovery, just being patient. If, in the end, your nose does not turn out exactly the way you want, there are always options for subtle modification. This is generally not done for a year, however. Good luck and take care.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Too soon to know

Thank you for your question!

It is understandable that you are concerned. Changes after rhinoplasties vary with every patient and what you are experiencing is normal especially that swelling takes time to subside as it masks the results of your surgery.

Unfortunately, with the pictures posted, the lack of surgical details and the inability to perform a physical exam it is not possible to provide you with a definitive answer that could be medically sound.

It is important to keep in mind that it is early to pass a judgment. Usually, a year is required before formulating how your nose will be. Even then, your nose will keep shaping itself and to complement your face for better results in the years to come.

My best recommendations at the moment is to be patient, allow nature to take its course and edema subsides for better results. There is no doubt that once the swelling subsides, more definition and shape will be achieved and you should be happier with the results.

Also, it is important that you keep communicating with your surgeon and work as a team together to achieve the best results possible.

Congratulations on your surgery and please remain positive!

Ali Sajjadian, MD FACS

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Asymmetric nostrils

This early after rhinoplasty it is hard to know what the final result will be. It's fairly common to have asymmetric swelling after rhinoplasty, especially at this early stage.

You should continue to follow up with your surgeon to make sure everything is healing normally of course.


Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 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.