How Difficult is an Alar Base Reduction?

I was wondering, how risky is have an alar base reduction done? I've heard the doctor must be very precise to make sure the two nostrils are even, but is this a more difficult procedure than a tip plasty?

Doctor Answers 8

Difficulty of alar base reduction

Alar base reduction does need to be performed symmetrically so as to leave the nostrils symmetric. There are always slight imperfections and asymmetries of the nostrils, so two nostrils can never be exactly perfect. The tip plasty is more complicated than the alar base reduction since there are so many other three-dimensional variables on the tip.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Alar base reduction

Alar base reduction is a fairly straightforward procedure that is done as precisely as a formal rhinplasty.  Remember no one is completely symmteric and more than likely your alar are not the same.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Alar Base Reduction

All techniques used in rhinoplasty must be precise, but I agree with Dr. Blinski that alar base reduction is easier than a tip plasty. Do not expect perfect nostril symmetry after surgery; this is difficult to achieve.

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

Alar base reduction

Alar base reduction does require precision, but this is really true of rhinoplasty in general.  It's not necessarily more difficult than tip surgery.  The main issue is the blood supply to the nose, which must be preserved during both procedures.  As with any surgery, be sure that you see someone experienced in this area.  Best wishes, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Alar base reduction

In expert well trained hands an alar base reduction is an easy operation to preform. Much easier than a tip rhinoplasty.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Narrowing the nostrils is an art

All of rhinoplasty requires an aesthetic eye, steady hands and experience.  Surgery of the nasal tip is certainly one of the most challenging aspects of rhinoplasty but surgery the nostrils still requires great care.  There are a number of different techniques to employ when narrowing the alar base. 

Your surgeon can show you the different locations for the planned incisions and discuss how a narrowed alar base will affect the rest of your nasal appearance.  For instance, narrowing of the alar base can make the tip look more prominent.  In terms of making the nostrils even, measurement is important.  Do remember, however, that absolute perfection is not possible but your surgeon should be dilligent in trying to make them as symmetrical as possible.

Yael Halaas, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Not difficult if done properly

Alar base reduction isnt hard but it takes precision and a meticuloud touch and the proper diagnosis to see if you even need it or what type of reduction you need (ala or sil or both).   Its not difficult but if done poorly, its extremely difficult or even impossible to correct so make sure you do your homework!

Shervin Naderi, MD, FACS
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Alar Base Reductions in Rhinoplasty

Alar base reductions are a very useful tool for the flared nasal base,  I use it very sparingly - because it does make a permanent change and leaves an excellent, but actual scar.  90% time I do it under local as a touchup procedure - not at the same time as the rhinoplasty - unless there is no question that it needs to be done.

Richard Greco, MD
Savannah Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 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.