Alar Base Reduction - Does it Look Natural?

I'm considering getting this procedure done. However, I have noticed in pictures that some patients develop a notch on each nostril where the base has been stitched together. It looks rather unnatural and 'pinched' together. Based on your personal experience, how often does this occur in alar base reduction? Is it a common or rare complication? Is this a problem of healing or a problem of doctor skill set?

Doctor Answers 4

Performing Alar Base Resections Correctly

One of the key elements is to allow for natural alar base reduction by hiding the scar just above the alar groove. Alar base reductions can be particularly challenging and can be done so they look natural and does not give one a pinched look or facial incongruity as is often seen if done excessively or asymmetrically.


Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Alar base reduction

An alar base reduction is an excellent ancillary procedure to a rhinoplasty for a wide nasal base or flare of the nostrils. It usually heals quite well.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Alar Base Reduction

I frequently do alar base reductions and feel very comfortable recommending this procedure.  As Dr. Placik said we don't see the natural results, only the distracting notches or bad contours. Select an experienced surgeon to avoid these problems.  

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Visible alar reduction incisions in nose job surgery

In most cases this looks excellent and my impression is that you are noticing the ones with visible notches whereas you are not aware of the good ones.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 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.