What is an Alar Base Reduction?

Doctor Answers (14)

Alar base reduction in rhinoplasty

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Alar base reduction is used when the size of the nostrils are disproportionally enlarged relative to the nasal tip and also the position of the eyes. The nostril can be addressed with alar base reduction when the nostril is flared due to a wide nasal base, or the nostril can be narrowed with alar wedge excisions when the nasal base is not particularly wide but the nostrils are large and flare.


Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

What is an alar base reduction?

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The lower aspect of the nose consists of the tip of nose as it blends with the nostrils. Typically we want to see a soft triangular tip that blends nicely with the nostrils. We don't want the tip or the nostrils to be too wide or pinched. Most people also do not like too much flaring in the nostrils. An alar base reduction is a technique that reduces the size of large or glaring nostrils. With this technique, we can narrow the nostrils, reduce nostril flaring, and/or correct asymmetry of the nostrils. For most of my patients, I usually also recommend addressing the tip of the nose to create a balance and harmony in the final result. Alar base modification is typically utilized in African-American, Asian and Hispanic patients, but is also commonly done in Caucasian and Middle-Eastern (Arab and Iranian) individuals who have wide and flared nostrils.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Alar Base Resections

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Alar base resection is when you reduce the size of the nostril or the flaring alar. This can be done based upon the pre-operative analysis of the patient and, in general, is performed to correct nasal nostril disharmony, especially on one who has excess nasal base widening and flaring.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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Alar base reductions decrease nostril width

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Alar base reductions are also known as Weir’s excisions for alarplasty. This is a simple 3- to 4-mm excision of skin at the base and sill of the nose to reduce the alar flare and bring in the nostril width. Sutures that are used are dissolvable and fall out in about a week.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Alar Base Reduction (Nostril Reduction Surgery)

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Nostril reduction surgery (called Alarplasty / Alar Base Reduction) is a procedure that can narrow the width of the nostril base, decrease the amount of nostril flaring, or decrease the size of the nostrils.

To accomplish this, the surgeon makes an incision in the crease where the nostril wall meets the cheek. A wedge shaped piece of nostril wall is removed, and when the incision is sewn close, the nostril narrowing is acheived.

It is possible to perform this procedure alone or as part of a rhinoplasty. It can be performed alone, but keep in mind that in order for the nose to appear natural, it must adhere to certain proportions and also be in balance with the other facial features.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

An alar base reduction Rhinoplasty is a procedure to narrow the nostrils

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An alar base reduction, also called a Weir Resection is done to narrow the nostrils of the nose.

People who have broad nasal tips with wide nostrils often want the nostrils narrowed.

Nostril reduction with the alar base resection is technically challenging and requires experience and technical expertise. The natural shape of the nostrils must be maintained and the scars hidden.

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Alar base reduction

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An alar base reduction can take care of many things. It can treat large nostrils, flare and width.  There are many variations to the procedure as it is customized to each specific patient's needs.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Narrowing the nostrils.

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 This means taking out a wedge of skin from the bottom of the nostrils for patients who have a wide nose. The scar is hidden in the crease of the nose.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

How is Alar Base Reduction used In Rhinoplasty

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 Alar base reduction is a technique that is used to narrow the nostril with and enhance the shape. It is generally used with ethnic rhinoplasty.  There are stitches that are placed at the junction of the nose and cheek.  The incisions are well-hidden and are concealed nicely once healed.  

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Alar base reduction refers to narrowing the nostril base

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This is commonly done in ethnic rhinoplasty, such as African American rhinoplasty or Asian rhinoplasty, to bring the nostril base into better proportion with the rest of the face. Occasionally we do it for other patients as well, if they have really large nostrils, or we need to make the tip smaller and closer to the face which in term can make the nostrils appear wider. It is a simple procedure, but it has to be meticulously done to avoid visible scars.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.