Can Alar Base Alone Fix Wide Nostrils and Nasal Base?

I hate how my nostrils flare and don't like how wide the bottom of my nose is. Do I need a full nose job? Thanks! I will travel wherever I have to to get the best surgery.

Doctor Answers 14

Alar Base Reduction and Rhinoplasty

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On the photo that you have provided it appears that your nostrils are disproportionately wide relative to the width of your face and even the tip of your nose. On this view it would appear that reduction of the nasal base would certainly help with this finding. What I would find more helpful would be a profile and a base view of your nose.
On front view it appears that your columella is retracted or there may be poor tip support. The profile view would enable me to see if your nose is under projected. If it is, you would need tip support to lengthen and strengthen your nose. This would also serve to narrow the flare of your nostrils and you may need significantly less work done at the base than it appears on the front view.

Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Wide nostrils

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Yes an alar base reduction will reduce the width of your nose. But looking at this single view, it also appears that you have a retracted columella. This may also need to be addressed during the surgery. A side or "worm's eye" view would be beneficial in this regard. Discuss these options with your surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Alar base narrowing can address your concerns

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Aside from alar width, your nose is straight and you appear on this photo to have good bridge and tip contour. I assume you are happy with your profile. If your only concern about your nose is your nostril flare and width, then an alar base procedure can definitely accomplish what you are looking for. You must remember two things though:

1. Anything that is done to one aspect of the nose can alter the appearance of every other aspect. So, narrowing the nostrils a fair bit can potentially make your tip look wider. It's important to sit down with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who can computer image the appropriate result for you to make sure you'll be happy with the surgical plan.

2. Alar base procedures are straightforward enough but are not always done well. In the hands of an inexperienced rhinoplasty surgeon, there is a risk of flattening the nostril excessively to give it a triangular and operated appearance. So, even though it sounds like a simple procedure, make sure to see an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon to get the most satisfying result. You can read more detail about the different alar base procedures on our blog.

All the best for a happy result.

Jason Litner, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Alar base resection helps wide nostrils

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After looking at your photo is looks like your nostrils are extra wide for your facial features. The other view that would help is the basal view looking from below.

An alar base resection would improve the flaring of the nostrils but this has to be kept in balance with the tip and columella. The surgeon would need to examine these structures and see how one change might affect the other. I don't think you need a full nose job but you might need a tip rhinoplasty to go with alar base resection.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon

Alarplasty for wide nostrils and nasal base

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An alar base can certainly be narrowed through a simple alarplasty by removing a 3- to 4-mm wedge of skin at the floor of the nose. A full nose job does not need to be performed if the only thing that is bothering the patient is a wide alar base.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Wide Alar Base

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Narrowing the alar base will definitely be beneficial. Decreasing the tip width and improving the tip contour should also be considered. It sounds like you are motivated to get the best possible result. Although not clear in your picture, it appears you may have slight narrowing in the middle portion of your nose. I also cannot evaluate your profile. Spend time to get a complete evaluation.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Surgery to fix flaring nostrils

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It appears as though you may need a combination of things to accomplish your aesthetic goals. This will require a full rhinoplasty, consisting of alar base reduction with narrowing of the nostrils as well. Reducing the width of your nasal tip may also help to narrow the appearance of your nose. Recovery will take 1-2 weeks with avoidance of contact sports for 6 months. Good luck!

Wide Nostril Rhinoplasty with Alar Base Reduction

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Based on this single photograph, the base of your nose is unbalanced with the rest of your nose and face. Will need more photographic views to determine if the nose is wide, nostrils flared, or combination. The imbalance in your nose is usually due to extra soft tissue on the nostril rims, but may also be due to underprojected or weak nasal tip and cartilage. Alar base reduction may be performed at the same time as a full rhinoplasty, or separately on its own.

Only after a comprehensive evaluation of the entire external and internal nose will a plastic surgeon be able to advise the best solution for you. You should not have to travel far to find an appropriate rhinoplasty surgeon, and may or may not require a full rhinoplasty to obtain the your desired results. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Alar base resection

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We would have to see your know from several different angles to give you overall advice.  From the view that you show, it does look like alar base resection would make a positive change for you.  Good luck with your surgery. 

Alar base reduction

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There are many different variations to alar base reductions depending upon your needs. It can treat flare, width, and nostril size.  Other views of your nose are essential to evaluate and an in -office exam is essential.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.