Will an Alar Wedge Excision Narrow my Nose?

I have always had a wide nose, but in the last few years my nose has become wider. It is the widest when I smile and I believe that my nose is too wide for my face.

Doctor Answers 6

Alar wedge excision will only narrow nostrils

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An alar wedge excision will only narrow the nostrils, not the actual nose itself. It is done for wide, flaring nostrils to feminize and refine the nose. Further narrowing of the tip can be also done through multiple different tip suturing techniques

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Alar Wedge Excision Narrows Nasal Base

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The base of the nose (the lowest portion) can be narrowed effectively by removing a wedge of tissue from the nasal alae close to the alar grooves. However it does not affect the upper two thirds of the nose. To narrow that portion the nasal bones need to be broken (osteotomies).


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

How to narrow the nostrils

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Alar wedge excisions will narrow your nostril width. However, your nose will always appear wider when you smile, as does every body's nose. That is because the facial muscles pull the nostrils to the sides as one smiles. You should consult with a rhinoplasty surgeon and get a second opinion to determine the best course of action for you. Computer imaging may help you get a better idea as to the possible effects of rhinoplasty.

Maurice M. Khosh, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Alar Wedge Excision Will Narrow Ala, Not the Rest of the Nose

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Hi Cmm,

Narrowing your nasal alae alone will only exacerbate the width of the rest of your nose.  When you are ready to undergo rhinoplasty, your nose can be narrowed along with your alae.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Alar wedge excision only narrows the nostrils.

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 Everyone's nose gets "wider" when they smile. You should see a rhinoplasty specialist who can evaluate your concerns in person and tell you if your goals can be fixed with surgery.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Rhinoplasty Might Not Include Alar Narrowing

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It is always difficult to tell from one picture but I do not think the alae are that wide and surgery will really not treat dynamic spread of the nostils when smiling. Instead what I see is potential improvement from narrowing the nasal tip as well as the nasal pyramid (upper portion). Secondarily the alae can be narrowed if it is felt to be necessary.Typically I try to stage these two procedures if possible.

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 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.