Alar Base Reduction and Weir Technique Difference?

What is the difference between an alar base reduction and the Weir technique? I was under the impression that both reduce the size of the nostrils.

Doctor Answers 12

Nostril Reduction Surgery 101

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 closed, the nostril narrowing is acheived. The incision can be limited to the exterior part of the nostril wall (decreases flaring without making nostrils smaller) or extend into the nostril (to narrow the nostril base and make the nostrils smaller)

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.

To get a better understanding of what your nose would look like after surgery, your prospective rhinoplasty surgeon should be able to show you before and after computer simulations. Many rhinoplasty surgeons use computer imaging, and recently 3D rhinoplasty imaging has become available. This allows patients to preview how their nose might look after surgery from any angle.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

Weir technique and alar base reduction

 The Weir technique is just one type of alar base reduction. There are many techniques to change the appearance of the alar base.  They can narrow the nostrils, decrease flare, change the base width of the nose, etc..

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Alar base reduction in rhinoplasty

A Weir reduction is a specific type of alar base reduction technique. It is similar to saying a cadillac is a type of automobile. There are many different types of alar base reduction procedures. The specific procedure can be designed to make the nostrils, narrower, thinner, etc.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

They both narrow the base.

 Dr. Weir has one type of narrowing named after him. Their are many other variations and you can discuss these with your surgeon as to which is best for you.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Weir incision is a type of alar base reduction

Procedures in surgery are commonly named after the surgeon who innovated them. Alar base reduction refers to reducing the size of the nostril. There are several more popular techniques used to accomplish this that all basically involve removal of a small wedge of tissue in the area where the nostril meets the base of the nose. A Weir excision is one of those techniques.

Overaggressive reliance on one technique can artificially flatten the look of the nostril, contributing to a triangular nostril shape and visible scars. So, it is important to choose an experienced surgeon for this procedure. Our modified technique ensures a very effective nostril narrowing that maintains the natural nostril curvature. Good luck with your search.

Jason Litner, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Alar base reduction

You are right, they are just different names for the same basic idea: narrowing the nostril base and decreasing the nostril size. There are nuances to this technique, including properly designing the incisions, and meticulous closing technique. You should look at your surgeon's before and after photos of the patients with similar concerns who had this procedure done.

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

Alar base reduction and Weir technique

Alar base reduction (alarplasty) involves a curvilinear, comma incision along the entire alar facial groove around the side of the nostril. The Weir technique is an alarplasty technique where 3 to 4 mm of skin is removed from the bottom and the floor sill of the nose. Weir technique will both reduce the flare of the nostrils; however, the alar base reduction actually removes a portion of the alar lobule.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Alar Base Reduction and Weir Technique

The Weir technique is just one type of alar reduction. Don't be concerned about the name of the procedure, only what will change as a result of the surgery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Alar base reduction and Weir procedure are one in the same

Adjustment of the ala, the skin around the side of the nostril is a common step in nasal shaping, Some of the original ideas concerning shaping the ala and the base were described by Weir and the concept still is often referred to as a Weir procedure. The pattern used has expanded greatly, and textbooks will often devote a full chapter to shaping the ala and controlling the alar base. Any surgeon who is well experience in rhinoplasty will be familiar with them and how best to apply a technique to modify the alar base or rim when needed. Remember that rhinoplasty is art in the highest degree and each will perceive the ideal differently. Work carefully with your surgeon, make your preference clear, and make sure that you understand just how your procedure will help you realise your goals.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Alar Base Reduction Weir Technique

The Weir technique is a type of alar base reduction.  There are many different names for the techniques used in alar base reduction. The choice of technique is based on the surgeon's preference and training background as well as your  particular anatomy. 

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 114 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.