Asymmetric Nostrils After Septo-Rhinoplasty

I had Septo-Rhinoplasty a month ago to straighten my nose (as it went slightly to the right) and also a small hump. My left nostril is now curved and slightly smaller, more angular, and has a pointed edge. I think I still have swelling because the nostrils are still hard. Do you think this effect might be less pronounced as the swelling goes down? What might have caused this? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 7

Asymmetric Nostrils after Septorhinoplasty

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One month is too early to judge the final shape of your nose and nostrils. You should go back and look carefully at your nostrils photographs from before the surgery. A lot of times the asymmetry could be present in the nostrils before surgery but was never noticed. After rhinoplasty patients tend to look at their nose more carefully and find out even the most minor asymmetries.

If you are certain that the asymmetry is new, then it could be related to the incision (cut) made inside the nose. The incision area can develop scar which in turn can pull on the nostril and cause asymmetry.

The most important thing is the diagnosis. Ask your surgeon to look carefully for the cause. If it is scar tissue, that will soften with mild steroid injections and massage. If it is excessive cartilage in one area, that can be shaved off after the swelling has subsided. If it is excessive removal of cartilage in some area, it can replaced or a filler can be used to achieve the same result.

If overall you are happy and find the nose to be better looking than before, then you should try not to focus on minor details. I always tell my patients to do a six feet test. Look at a mirror six feet away from you and analyze your nose. If it looks good, then leave your nose alone. The reason is that revision rhinoplasty is more risky than first time rhinoplasty. You can end up having a bigger problem while trying to solve a small one.

If you need further advice, please include some photographs


Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Swelling and Asymmetry After Septorhinoplasty

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Dear Rhinoplasty patient from UK,
Without reviewing your after rhinoplasty pictures, it is difficult to render a professional opinion. Since you had your surgery four weeks ago, there is significant swelling that will resolve over few months period. Therefore it is too soon to judge the final outcome now. Talk to your surgeon and having him look at it. Good luck and good healing.

Kevin Sadati, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 224 reviews

Septo-rhinoplasty asymmetry

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Most people have slightly asymmetric nostrils. However, if your surgeon had to move your septum over, this may have slightly changed the shape of your nostrils.  You may want to review your pre-op photos with your surgeon to see if you had asymmetry prior to surgery.  Also, one month after surgery, you still have a lot of swelling and it will take a few months before you see what your final result will be. Regardless, if you have any concerns, you should definitely talk to your rhinoplasty surgeon since only they know what they did operatively. I'm sure he or she will be happy to discuss with you any questions you may have.

Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.

Small left nostril after Rhinoplasty.

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Without seeing your photo, I'm not sure why you have a smaller left nostril after Rhinoplasty. Did your surgeon narrow your nostrils on both sides?

If I had to guess, your surgeon straightened your nose and septum and moved your nose that originally tilted to the right back toward the center. That could have the effect of making the right nostril larger, and the left smaller. Is your nose straight now?

Certainly, you still have significant swelling only one month after surgery, so sit tight. What does your surgeon say?

Feel free to post / email me full facial photos showing your concern, and I'll be happy to give you my thoughts.

Best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Asymmetry and rhinoplasty

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First of all, all noses are asymmetric.  Second you have to give it some time for the swelling to go down before jumping to any final conclusions.  Be patient.  If you are then unhappy after a few months, talk it over with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Asymmetric Nostrils

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Hi Miss UK,

Your new nose will continue to "morph" or change over the next few months. Stay in close touch with your surgeon and listen to her/his advice. There are many possible reasons for what you are experiencing. Your surgeon is best suited to answer those questions

Be patient and allow your nose time to heal. If after 6 to 12 months you still have concerns then speak with your surgeon regarding possible revision rhinoplasty.

Good luck and I hope that you enjoy your new nose. Be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Nasal Asymmetry

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Obviously, swelling always occurs after nasal surgery. This swelling is usually not symmetrical. Wait at least six months to critique your result. It sounds as if the appearance of your nose has improved after the surgery. Fortunately, the size and shape of the nostrils are not noticed by the casual observer. It probably will improve. If you're not satisfied a revision could be done. Let me know how you do.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 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.