Only One Nostril Moves After Rhinoplasty

I had rhinoplasty 2 weeks ago. The nose looks good but I've noticed that when I breathe in and out I can see that my right side of the nose and nostril close but my left side doesn't close. But I can feel both sides and I can breathe very well. It's just one side moving. Is this normal? Will the left side of the nose move?

Doctor Answers 4

Nostril movement after rhinoplsty

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Movement of nostrils with breathing is dependent on some muscle activity and the underlying structural architecture of the nose.  You still have a tremendous amount of healing to do.  I would wait at least three months and then see if there are some remaining assymetry issues.  I suspect they will resolve with time.

All the best,

Tal Raine MD

Moving nostrils after Rhinoplasty

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Yes, the swelling after a Rhinoplasty combined with the surgical trauma of lifting the nasal tissues can explain this and you should be careful not to move your nostrils to much at this early post op phase as you can create bleeding within the tissues.

Movment of the Nostrils after Rhinoplasty

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Some movement of the nostril toward the middle of the nose is normally seen on inspiration and is caused by the same rules of physics that cause a straw to partially collapse when drinking a thick milkshake.  To some degree, this movement is dependent on nostril flexibility.  In the early postoperative period following a rhinoplasty, swelling may cause stiffening of one or both nostrils thereby decreasing their flexibility and therefore ability to move.  Full healing following a rhinoplasty can take between 9 and 12 months, so time is definitely on your side.  That being said, be sure to mention it to your surgeon on your next visit for his advice and reassurance.

Andrew B. Denton, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Nasal breathing and Rhinoplasty

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Changes in breathing and movement of the nose occur over many months after rhinoplasty.  The movement of the nostrils are caused by muscles that pull from the outside, as well as air movement.  Since it has only been 2 weeks after your surgery, give it some time to see what happens, and if you have any more concerns follow up with your surgeon.  Hope this helps,

Jason C. Lichtenberger, MD

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.