Can my nostril be lowered to match the other? (Photo)

After having hemangioma as a child, I was left with a bad skin graft and scarring, about twenty years later I am left with this. I can deal with the discoloration as I find it can be mended with makeup,and if rather not have another full skin graft on my face at this age but the amount that my nostril has been raised makes my whole face look off. Can my nostril be lowered to somewhat match the other? Or will I just have to get used to it at this point?

Doctor Answers 8

Nostril Correction with Scar Relase and Soft Tissue Reconstruction

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It would be possible to lower the nostril with a scar release and local rotation flap from the radix. It really depends on cartilage status and how much soft tissue is needed after a the scar is release. It would be unlikely to need a skin graft in that area as there are many local reconstructive options.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Alar retraction

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Rebbeca- thanks for your question.  The short answer is that "Yes, your nostril and alar asymmetry can be improved".  There are several factors that have likely occurred due to your hemangioma and subsequent grafting.  There are a number of rhinoplasty techniques that can be used to address these.  In order to truly provide the options best for you, and discuss their risks and benefits, your best option is to schedule a consultation with a board certified rhinoplastic surgeon who is experienced in reconstructive, functional, and aesthetic rhinoplasty.  I would be happy to see you!
Best wishes

Christian L. Stallworth, MD
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Asymmetric nostrils

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A graft of skin and cartilage from the ear (composite graft) will lower the retracted nostril.The graft is placed inside the nose.  But to make is exactly symmetrical, is possible, but not 100% guaranteed.

Dennis Barek, MD (retired)
Great Neck Plastic Surgeon

Nostril asymmetry after skin graft to the nose

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Hi there,

Thank you for your photo and question.

You have a complex problem with the nostril asymmetry. The skin graft that was put because of the hemangioma did not grow at the same rate as the rest of the skin of the nose, so the right side ended up being contracted and pulling on the nostril.

The symmetry of the nostrils can be improved. It is hard to make them match perfectly, but you can certainly improve it.

To give you an idea of things that can be done, in my hands I would likely recommend a composite graft meaning a piece of cartilage from the ear that also comes with skin so that I can expand the nostril on the right side and bring it down.

I would recommend you consult an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.

Good luck!

Myriam Loyo, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nostril asymmetry

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The short answer is yes. I use an alar contour graft which is cartilage placed along the rim of the right nostril. You should get marked improvement. Perfect is hard to achieve. 

Paul E. Chasan, MD
Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Symmetry Could Be Improved With a Rhinoplasty

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It's likely that the nostril can be lowered to a point that you will be less asymmetric.  Getting perfect symmetry with the other side, although possible, is not extremely likely.  The success of the rhinoplasty depends in part on how much scarring is present from the skin grafting done 20 years ago.  I would make an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon experienced in both rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty for an in person evaluation. As with all cosmetic procedures, your expectations of the results are critical.  If you need to be completely symmetric in order to be happy, I would be very careful proceeding with surgery.  If an improvement in the asymmetry would make you happy, then I do think an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon could be successful.  Good luck.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Uneven nostrils

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While nostril asymmetry is the most difficult area of asymmetry to correct, in most cases it can be improved during rhinoplasty. While perfect symmetry is not attainable, improved symmetry usually is.

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Rhinoplasty, some advices:

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Thank you very much for sharing your concerns with us.

The harmony between facial parts makes us instinctively recognize the beauty... without knowing it, without defining it, just a perception that surprises and captivates us.

In this regard, I suggest perform a Closed Rhinoplasty (without visible scars) to treat the tip, base and nasal bridge.
With this procedure you get a delicate nose, better harmonize with your other facial features.

Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 365 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.