Alar Base Reduction to Thin Tip of Nose Alone?

Hello, I am considering alar base reduction, and I was wondering if so much of the ala could be reduced to the extent that the tip of the nose would appear more defined and thinned? I like to think of alar base reduction as less invasive as opposed to other forms of rhinoplasty, and I'd dislike having alar base reduction performed in conjunction with reduction of the tip when it would be unnecessary. Thanks in advance for all of your time and input. -Vanessa

Doctor Answers 9

Alar base reduction

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Reducing the alar base will not narrow the tip of the nose, only the alar base.  The tip and the nostrils are 2 different anatomical subunits of the nose.  

Rhinoplasty for a thinner nose

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Dear Vanessa,

  • An alar base resection usually leaves scars along the sides of the nostrils and will not address your concern
  • In the end, you want a result that you will love so see a rhinoplasty surgeon to discuss your concerns
  • He/She can tell you what is possible with different techniques
  • I would not worry about the invasiveness of the procedure, because it is just a means to an end (we do what we need to do to get the result you want)

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Alar Base Reduction to Reduce the Tip?

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   An alar base reduction will not narrow the tip, and the reduction will round the tip and may make it appear larger.  To narrow the tip, your must narrow the tip.

Narrowing a wide nose with Alar Base Reduction Rhinoplasty in Los Angeles

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Alar base reduction only narrows the base of the nose and not the tip. In fact, if the tip is not narrowed porportionately then alar base reduction can make the tip look wider. Narrowing nasal tip with a rhinoplasty is relatively easy and does not carry more risks than alar base reduction.

Alar base reduction and tip

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An alar base reduction will not improve the refining of the tip itself.  It will only narrow the base or remove flare.

Alar Base Reduction

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As noted by others, the tip is seperate from the alar base surgery. Alar base reduction is considered when the width of the nose (at the base) from a frontal view is beyond a perpendicular line dropped from the inner aspect of the eye (medial canthus). This is a rough gauge but pretty accurate. Alar base reduction is done in conjunction with the rest of the rhinoplasty to balance out the final result. See if your surgeon can offer imaging so you can better understand this.

Alar Base Reduction to Reduce Tip

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Alar base reduction will not narrow the width of the projecting tip. You need to submit pictures or consult with a rhinoplasty specialist to answer your question about alternative techniques.

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

Alar Base Reduction does not thin the tip

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  Alar base reduction moves the ala and/or the sill (bottom of the nostril) in to narrow the base of the nose.  This does not affect the width of the tip.  This is determined by the cartilages and the skin thickness, which could be addressed with rhinoplasty.

Good luck!

Angela Sturm, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Alar base reduction effects on nasal tip

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Thanks for your question Vanessa. Alar base reduction is performed at the base of the nostrils as they attach to the upper lip and nasal sil. Reduction of the ala really has no effect on the nasal tip itself. Tip refinement surgery requires modification of the nasal tip cartillages and this would need to be performed as part of a formal Rhinoplasty. Both procedures can be performed together if needed and this allows for recovery from both procedures at the same time.

Thomas Buonassisi, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 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.