Ethnic Rhinoplasty: Alar Base Reduction? (photo)

I wanted to get professional opinions on whether I should be asking for an Alar Base Reduction or if something else is needed. I like the shape of my tip, my concern is the nostril flare, especially when smiling. I don't want a "perfect, small nose", just one similar to the first picture, which is of my nose contoured with make up.The other pictures are without contouring. I want to preserve the racial ethnicity of my nose with less bulbous nostrils..thank you for any feedback!

Doctor Answers (9)

Alar base surgery

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It really depends on what is bothering you. If you are indeed only concerned with addressing nostrils that are too large and flared and you feel that the remainder of your nose including the tip and bridge are just fine, you could choose to just have alar base surgery to correct both nostril size and flaring. This can be performed under local anesthesia and the recovery is reasonably straightforward with minimal downtime. If on the other hand you are concerned with other areas of the nose in addition to the nostrils, then you may benefit from rhinoplasty including alar base surgery.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Alar base reduction

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With an alar base reduction, the size of the nostrils is reduced. When performed correctly by a specialist, the procedure can yield a fantastic result. A good surgeon is able to make improvements while preserving the patient's ethnicity. I would recommend a consult with a board certified rhinoplasty specialist, as he/she will be able to examine you in person and provide you with recommendations. Computer imaging software may be used to give you an idea of how the final result of surgery may appear. 

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Ethnic Rhinoplasty and Alar Base Reduction

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Yes, I can see – and understand-  what your goals are.  I tend to agree that the goal would be to minimize the prominence of the nostrils.  Likely I would anticipate wanting to do an alar base reduction, which would extend to the lateral aspects of the nostrils so as to allow for alar flare reduction as well, essentially thinning out the roundedness aspect of the nostrils.  However, nothing will be better than you meeting in person with a surgeon who has experience with these procedures and conveys confidence.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Alar base reduction

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In general, an alar base reduction is performed to reduce the width of the nostrils. An alar base reduction can be performed without changing the appearance of the nasal tip. It is also possible to reduce the width of the nostrils and maintain a natural look. The goals with ethnic rhinoplasty are as follow:

1) Maintain the distinguishing characteristics of the patients ethnicity
2) Achieve a look that is aesthetically pleasing but also natural

From here, I would recommend a consult with a board certified rhinoplasty surgeon who has experience performing ethnic rhinoplasty. They will be able to assess your nose in person and provide you with recommendations. I hope this helps and good luck.

Jonathan Kulbersh, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Ethnic Rhinoplasty: Alar Base Reduction?

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        The alar base reduction is probably the correct maneuver for you given your description of your goals and the photos provided.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 237 reviews

Alar base reduction

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An alar base reduction can certainly help with flare and width of the base. It may make a nice change for you.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Nasal Alar Base Reduction

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Alar base surgery to reduce the flare and width of your nostrils will make a dramatic improvement. With the pictures submitted I cannot tell if any other changes should be considered. An experienced surgeon will examine you and evaluate your entire nose so you can establish reasonable goals and expectations.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Alar plasty for wide alar base

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 An alar-plasty is performed for a wide nasal base and alar flaring, so that the nostril size is reduced in width. The alar-plasty procedure can be performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. The incisions are located at junction on the floor of the nose with the nostrils.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 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.