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Can an Alar Base Reduction Cause the Upper Lip to Appear Smaller?

Does moving the nostrils inwards result in a lip which is smaller lengthways?

Doctor Answers (7)

Reducing the Size of the Nostrils with Rhinoplasty or Nasal Surgery in Los Angeles


Reducing the size and width of the nostrils can significantly improve of the outcome of a rhinoplasty in people who have flared and wide nostrils. Using an Alar wedge resection technique during rhinoplasty, a small wedge of the nostril is removed and the remaining nostrils are brought in to make the width narrower. this technique of nose surgery does not alter the upper lips.

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Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Alar base reduction will not affect the upper lip


Alar base reduction will not affect the upper lip.  It is simply the removal of a small wedge of skin from the base of the nostril and will have no effect on the upper lip.  

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Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Rhinoplasty Won't Change Upper Lip Size


As the other surgeons have said, removing some of the nostril sill won't change the length of the upper lip.  However, there may be some optical illusion that could be perceived as a change in upper lip dimensions. 

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Austin Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Alar Base Reduction does not affect mouth shape


No, alar base reduction, or bringing the nostrils closer together would not be able to decrease the horizontal size or width of the mouth.  The alar base, of the nose, sits on the very superior aspect of the circular muscle beneath the lips and as such really would not have that type of effect on the size of the mouth. 

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Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

No it will not change


Alar base reduction results is decrease in horizontal width of the nose and has no effect upper lip length.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Alar base reduction and rhinoplasty


Dear Quno,

As a facial plastic surgeon, we do not remove any upper lip skin.  The only skin that is removed is nostril skin.  With that said, your upper lip length will not change.


Nima Shemirani

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Alar base reduction will not make lip smaller


The short answer is simply 'no'. An alar base reduction will not shorten the horizontal length of the upper lip.

Best of luck,


Web reference:

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 25 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.

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