Would an Alar Base Reduction Be Complicated for Me?

Alar base reduction seems to be a simple procedure as its done under local anesthesia. I have an "Asian nose":small tip and bridge but wide nostrils. My ent said I have a deviated septum but I dont plan on fixing this because I believe my breathing problems are more related to having pectus excavatum Is an alar reduction complicated,what are the risks? Thank you for your time.

Doctor Answers 13

Alar base reduction

While alar base reduction is not complicated, it must be performed in a meticulous fashion to give an excellent result.  The procedure involves removing 2-5 mm of skin at the base and sill of the nose and blending it into the alar nasal crease.  The surgeon must be careful not to overdo the narrowing, which can lead to nasal obstruction.  This procedure can be performed under a local anesthesia.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Alar Base

With an eye toward symmetry and plenty of experience, alar base reductions by expert Cosmetic Surgeons are a nice addition to Asian Rhinoplasty, when performed correctly.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Reducing Wide Nostrils Makes a Big Difference

Nostril reduction via alar base excision makes the nostrils smaller to bring them into better proportion with the rest of your nose.  They should be done conservatively and expertly, so as to minimize any untoward sequela such as an unnatural appearance or excessive scarring. When performed correctly, under local anesthesia or deeper anesthesia, they will make a subtle, yet dramatic, difference in your appearance.

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Alarplasty For An Asian Nose


Alarplasty can be performed under local anesthesia while some patients prefer to undergo a full anesthesia instead.

Usually, an alarplasty is not complicated but at the same time should be well planned and approached conservatively especially with "small" nasal traits (per your description).

That being said, please remember that commendable results require an exceptionally skilled surgeon to perform the surgery and settling for anything less than that increases the chances of additional corrective surgeries dramatically.

I hope this helps and please feel free to check the website below.

Thank you for your inquiry.
The best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Alar base reduction requires meticulous technique

Alar base reduction can be done under local anesthesia, but it is misleading to say alar base reduction is simple. In fact, when it is poorly done you can have very obvious external scars, extremely unnatural shape to the nostril and/or ala, asymmetry, and/or increased difficulty breathing. It is a procedure that requires meticulous technique and planning to create a beautiful result. When done poorly, is very difficult to fix or restore a natural appearance. I advise caution when choosing a surgeon for this. The entire nose needs to be evaluated, including the airway and the appearance, as well as the relationship to the rest of the face. Make sure you choose a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon with experience performing rhinoplasty and alar base reduction specifically. Also, look at before and after pictures of patients done by your surgeon before signing up. There are different techniques used by different surgeons, and you should know what you are signing up for.

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Nasal Base surgery in Asian nose

  Reducing the nose base with alar reduction can be done under local anesthesia. The surgery is relatively straight forward, but the design of excision varies from patient to patient, depending on individual anatomy. Another consideration is healing of incisions in Asian skin, making planning this type of surgery even more important.  Make sure your doctor has experience operating on nose just like yours.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Alar Base Reduction Complications

Hello. An alar base reduction is fairly simply with small risks such as scars or asymmetry. Your pectus excavatum and deviated septum will not cause any complications to this procedure. Be sure to choose an experienced doctor for this procedure to ensure the best results possible. Good luck!

Jaime Perez, MD
Rhinoplasty Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Alar base reduction

You are correct that alar base reduction can be done under local anesthesia and is a short, outpatient procedure.  As far as any breathing problems are concerned, it should be pretty easy to tell if the problem is in your nose or your chest.  If you can breathe easily through your mouth, but not your nose, then the breathing problem is in your nose.  Either way, it's certainly up to you whether to undergo septal surgery or not.  Alar reduction should not make it harder to breathe, but it could be a small risk.  Otherwise, the risks are largely cosmetic, such as asymmetry or dissatisfaction. Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Would an Alar Base Reduction Be Complicated for Me?

An alar base reduction is straight forward. However, providing symmetry, an appropriate amount of reduction and scars that are pleasing in appearance is difficult. Choose an experienced Facial Plastic Surgeon who performs alot of alar base reduction. A poor result can be very noticeable and very distressing. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Success with Alar Base Reduction

Alar base reduction is not a complicated procedure but it is difficult to get good results because if not done well it will be very noticeable and distracting for the patient and those around them. Select an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 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.