Why do my nostrils look bigger after rhinoplasty?

I'm 7 days post rhinoplasty & 1 day post cast removal. My nostrils seem pulled up. They are bigger & more exposed than they were prior to surgery. In the prediction images my surgeon gave me, my nostril size did not change. Is it the swelling that is causing them to look like this? I have read that excessive tip work can cause nostril shape to change, but minor work was done to my tip. The main focus of my rhinoplasty was bump removal. Will this change as swelling decreases or is this permanent?

Doctor Answers 5

Selling after rhinoplasty

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It is common for the nose to look a bit turned up after surgery.  This typically goes  down as the swelling resolves.   There is no way to make any judgments on the results at 7 days.   

Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nostril Shape Can Temporarily Change

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Thanks for your question. It's entirely possible that the change in the size and shape of your nostrils is temporary. Swelling can be unpredictable, and we do see this sometimes in the early phases of recovery. At any rate, it's far too early to worry. Give your nose some time to heal. Over the next few weeks and months, your swelling will reduce significantly, and you'll have a better idea of what your permanent results will look like. Good luck during your recuperation.

Jerold Olson, MD
Tucson Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews


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The nostril might be pulled up due to the taping of the nose and often come down with time. They can appear thicker due to swelling.

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

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Nostril size after rhinoplasty

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 Thank you for your question. Occasionally, the nostrils will appear larger after rhinoplasty because of persistent swelling and scar contracture. Please consult your surgeon because he/she knows exactly the procedure performed during your surgery. In some of my patients I have given Restylane injections until the swelling subsided enough to decrease the nostril show. This must be done with extreme caution. Occasionally, a small incision  inside the nose can completely correct this deformity. You are at seven months and maybe a candidate. Patients must wait at least six months before undergoing any revision rhinoplasty procedures.  95% of my patients completely improved with observation only and performing no procedures.   I hope this information is helpful to you. Best of luck in your recovery !

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Why do my nostrils look bigger after rhinoplasty?

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Hello what you are describing sounds very normal
being it has only been (7) days post op
to little time to be able to determine any out come
at this point suggest you take a picture weekly
to keep up with your transition
best of luck!

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