Alar Base Reduction - Am I a Good Candidate?

Hey I am a little bothered by my nostrils, especially when I smile. They flare out a lot and are rather large. I often think a slight reduction would help my appearance. However, I do not know if its worth it to have surgery due to the scarring, and having large nostrils isn't a HUGE issue in my life. Is there a way to a nostil reduction where the scars are internal? What about botoxing the muscles that make my nose flare? Thanks

Doctor Answers 9

Alar base reduction candidate

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There is an alternative to narrow the alar base slightly with an incision placed on the inside of the ala. When patients have significantly wide nostrils, the incision placed at the alar facial groove heals quite imperceptibly.

Nasal Alar Base Reduction

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You will achieve significant improvement by decreasing the width and flare of the base of your nose, including the nostrils. You want an experienced surgeon but this is not a big procedure and can be done under local anesthesia. Botox in the surrounding muscles is not going to improve the appearance of the nasa lbase..

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Alar reduction to narrow nasal base is possible.

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Unfortunately, while alar base reduction is possible, there is no way to do this without incisions (and scars), but if precisely performed and sutured with meticulous technique and fine sutures, the final scars are quite minimal and virtually invisible in most patients. ( I performed this for my own daughter when I did her rhinoplasty nearly 20 years ago, and her scars are imperceptible.)

Botox could potentially reduce the flare when smiling, but only at the expense of altering your smile. There is no way to separate the desired smile animation from the undesirable flare (even if someone tells you they can).

Thankfully, this is not a huge issue for you, but the risk of undesirable scarring is truly low, and the cost of this local anesthesia operation is quite reasonable, so come in for a no-charge consultation. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

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Good candidate for alar base resection?

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Based on the pictures you have shown, it would appear that your nostrils flare a little too much, which can be addressed with an alar base resection. Unfortunately the incisions have to be placed on the outside of the nose, but usually can be camouflaged to lie in the groove at the base of the nose. If you have had other incisions and have had bad-looking scars, then there is a chance this scar might not be to your liking. See a plastic surgeon who can evaluate the whole nose and all the factors involved in making this decision.

I don't think botox holds the answer.

Alar Base Reduction - Am I a Good Candidate?

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Based on the limited photos you've posted it does appear that you are a candidate for alar base reduction. To achieve narrowing and reduction of nostril flare, you would require an incision that does extend into the groove where the nostril attaches to the upper lip and cheek. If performed properly these incisions heal very nicely. Unfortunately, there is no way to achieve those changes with incisions hidden inside the nostrils. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Alar base surgery

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momo333, Can't give you a great answer. Missing some details such as sex, ethnicity and relative size of your facial bones in general. But, it appears you do have excess width and flaring. The incision is visible but when well planned and executed typically heals quite well. See my web site for further information. Good luck!

M. Sean Freeman, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Alar Base reduction

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Although I cannot be sure because I don't have a complete set of photos, it appears that you have some alar flare, a wide inter-alar distance, and wide nostrils. You would certainly benefit from an alar base reduction, but to get a really nice result all three components I just mentioned should be addressed. The scars are usually imperceptible if the incisions are closed properly, and you heal well. An internal incision only would narrow the nostrils and only slightly help the inter-alar distance. The issue with BOTOX for flaring nostrils is that it can negatively effect your smile. Best of luck.

A. Joshua Zimm, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Alar Base Reduction - Am I a Good Candidate?

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I think that an alar base reduction could reduce the size of the nostrils and create a little better symmetry.

Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions 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

Alar Base Reduction - Am I a Good Candidate? #Rhinoplasty #alar reduction

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Thank you for your question. It is relatively difficult to answer this question without seeing a frontal photo of your entire face. Typically the width of your nose should be about the width between the most medial portion of your eyes. (That is the part of the eye that is closest to the midline.) If it is wider, then this would be a potential reason to narrow the nostrils. If the large nostrils are imbalancing the aesthetic appearance of your nose, this may be another reason to make them smaller. If the width is only minimally widened, then there could be some ways to decrease the width of the nose, yet may make the nostrils appear flared. I would run you questions ultimately by your physician for further answers.

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.