How Bad Are the Scars from Alar Narrowing?

I need to narrow my nostrils. I worry about the scars being noticeable like there are "buggers" coming out of both nostrils. Am I being too concerned? How noticeable is this?

Doctor Answers 10

Alar narrowing

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The scarring from alar narrowing is generally quite acceptable. All incisions in and around the nose heal with some degree of scarring. Meticulous closure and approximation of the edges will minimize the visibility of these scars. I doubt the scarring will be as significant as you have visualized. My only suggestion is that you ask your surgeon what type of narrowing procedure they have in mind as some noses require nostril narrowing and others require alar base reduction, too.

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

Scars from alar-narrowing

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With regards to an alarplasty, there are very small incisions located at the bottom of the floor of the nose, right at the nostril margin, in the sill of the nose. These are very unnoticeable. We do not recommend the entire alar reduction incision, which goes around the entire alar rim, which can be noticeable. Alarplasty is simply a small wedge of 3 to 4 mm of skin at the floor and sill of the nose, which reduces the actual width of the nostril. Stitches are dissolvable and fall out in a week, and then incisions are unnoticeable.

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

Scarring from alar nasal narrowing is not bad if done by an expert

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The key to hiding the scars from alar narrowing also called weir alar resection, is proper technique.

If the incision is placed at the correct angle near the alar crease or fold, the scars are usually well hidden. The key is to preserve the curve of the ala and not flatten it.

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Alar reduction requires experience

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Alar narrowing or nostril reduction, is also known as Weir base reduction. I place the incision in the crease between the ala and the facial groove. This minimizes the visibility. As always, a surgeon familiar w/ Rhinoplasty surgery and having experience in this procedure is a must. Only about 15% of my cases require this procedure, although it is commonly required in ethnic Rhinoplasty.

Edward J. Gross, MD
Orlando Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Don't place Rhinoplasty incision in alar rim crease

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If your doctor places the incision in the crease of the alar rim then the chance of webbing is great. If the incision is slightly above the crease the scars are imperceptible. Check with your doctor to see where they like to place the scars.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Alar base surgery

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Incisions around the alar base for base reduction if performed correctly, usually leave scars that are almost imperceptible.  Of course, skin quality and healing quality can affect the results.

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

Narrowing your nostrils may be performed during Rhinoplasty Surgery.

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The scarring from alar base resection is usually minimal. These are limited to the base of your nose, so the location is also favorable. You should consult several board-certified Rhinoplasty specialists, and view many photos of alar narrowing before proceeding.

I hope this is helpful, and best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Alar Narrowing

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Everyone heals differently and it all depends on how you heal.  But as a plastic surgeon we put the scars in an area that usually heals well and is not noticeable.

Hope that answers your question.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Scars from nostril narrowing

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The scars created from nostril narrowing are designed to heal in the crease of the nostril. When done correctly, it is very inconspicuous.

If you are undergoing this procedure, make sure to ask your surgeon to show you examples so you may have a good idea of what to expect.

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Alar Narrowing

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Certainly, there is always a risk of unfavorable scars after any skin incision. I have frequently done nostril narrowing for many years; I have successfully revised only a handful. The key is making the incision in the proper location and meticulously closing the wound.

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