Do I Need Alar Base Reduction?

I was wondering whether or not alar base reduction would be recommended in my case. Thank you

Doctor Answers 15

No alar reduction needed

In reviewing your photographs my personal opinion is no. You would be best served with a small reduction of the dorsum where you have a small bump and some thinning on the nasal tip and you would have a very nice natural looking rhinoplasty. Best regards!

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Alar Base Reduction in Rhinoplasty

Surgeons evaluate the width of the nostrils by drawing an imaginary line down from the inner corners of the eyes. If the nostrils overlap this line, then we consider reduction of the alar width. Although you blacked out your eyes on the frontal view, it does appear that your nostrils are of normal width. Another view that would be helpful is a view of your nose from the base (with the tip of your nose pointed up towards the ceiling). This view allows us to evaluate nostril symmetry. The photos you sent do show a bulbous tip and a dorsal hump, which would certainly improve with hump reduction and tip refinement.

Theda C. Kontis, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews


It does not appear that the base width of your nose is out of proportion and reducing the ala would not see to be helpful. Agree that dorsal hump reduction and refining the tip would probably give a cosmetic improvement

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Alar base reduction.

Alar base reduction is only necessary when wide nostrils are present.  The incisions are placed at the nostril sill and a small wedge of tissue, usually 3-5 mm, is removed from either the nostril sill, or the alar base or both, depending upon the issues.  This will narrow the base of the nose quite nicely and is only used for patients with a very wide nostril base.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Alar base reduction

No - based on your photos it appears that you do not have excessive flare of the nostrils nor should you develop this through significant deprojection

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

No alar base reduction

From your photos, the alar appear very close together already so, IMHO, no alar base reduction would be indicated.  Your nasal tip appears quite wide and bulbous and a Tip Plasty would seems more aesthetically appropriate during a Rhinoplasty.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Reducing Nose Width, or Alar Base Reduction, Probably Not Necessary



In general, if your nasal base is too wide, it will be out of proportion to your face.  In your photo you supplied, it does not look like your nose is wide in proportion to your face.  Of course, it's best if you're seen in person by a plastic surgeon, but your photos don't really indicate a nose that's wide in comparison to the rest of your nose or face.


Best Wishes,


Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Alar base

No. I would not narrow the base. This would not look natural and could inhibit your ability to breath

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Alar base reduction.

Alar base reduction is for wide nostrils. Your width is fine and you only need the tip and bridge refined,

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Alar Base looks fine.

The definition of the ideal width of teh alar base is a line drawn vertically through the innermost aspect of the eye and the outermost point on the nostril - you look fine.

Sometimes the width of the nostril itself gives the appearance that you are too wide - hard to tell from these photos.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 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.