Is alarplasty a dying trend? (photo)

My doctor says he won't do alar base reduction because "it causes too much extreme scarring." I am disappointed. I really want my nose less wide. It's one of the main things that bothers me. He offered to do a suture pinch from inside the upper lip area but I understand this is minimally effective and prone to failure anyway. Why bother if it won't last? Is alar base reduction a bad choice? Should I find another doctor or go with his logic?

Doctor Answers 12

Find a specialist #rhinoplasty surgeon

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Unfortunately a significant portion of surgeons offering rhinoplasty may be great at facelifts or breast augmentation but do not do enough noses to understand the nuances or they may do plenty but not with finesse or understanding of current literature and trends.  I think you have not found the right surgeon.  Yes, alar reduction does create a scar but it can be a barely noticeable scar if executed properly.  The reduction in alar width should offset the creation of a new scar and the procedure is a good one IF true reduction of the nostril width is beneficial.  If the nostrils are barely wide then it does not make sense to make an incision and a scar. 

Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Alar surgery

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kpeton, I've been doing nothing but faces for over 25 years and that includes a whole bunch of noses. I recently reviewed the last ten years of noses and found that I did secondary alar rim surgery in about 8% of my patients. the scar has not been as issuue for my patients. See a facial plastic specialist. Good luck!!

M. Sean Freeman, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Alar plasty is very common

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An alar plasty is a very common procedure performed in rhinoplasty today. It is only performed when patients have wide nostrils. The incisions for  an alar plasty in our practice are either located completely inside the nostrils, or just barely come out of the nostril rim at the sill.. When performed meticulously this incision is  minimally undetectable.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Alar base reduction

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I would not agree that it causes "extreme scarring".  If designed and executed properly, the scars are typically very hard to see.  They can be dermabraded if needed as well.  It is still a common maneuver performed with rhinoplasty. 

Matthew Bridges, MD
Richmond Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Alar Reduction and Scarring

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As long as the right technique is used and the operation is done correctly you will get good results. 

Is alarplasty a dying trend?

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Alarplasty is alive and well and is a powerful tool in appropriate candidates.

Select a plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties each year, has great reviews, and has great before and after pictures.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Alar Reduction and Scarring

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Alar reduction is more commonly done today than ten or twenty years ago. When the right technique is chosen and well done, the scarring is very minimal. The key is to have the right technique done for your type of alar flaring problem.

Is alarplasty a dying trend? (photo)

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Alarplasty (alar base reduction) is absolutely not a dying trend.  It depends on the surgeon's experience.  For those of us who deal with patients of different ethnicities, Latino, Black, Middle-Eastern, it is very commonly done.  And the way it is done in our practice, virtually leaves no scarring.  Your doctor may have been referring to the older technique which leaves obvious scars along the outer alar-facial junction.  That definitely is an archaic procedure.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Alarplasty, alar base reduction, and nostril narrowing in rhinoplasty

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As other rhinoplasty surgeons have stated, alar plasty or nostril narrowing is not a dying procedure. However, it's not appropriate for all patients considering rhinoplasty. Yes, problematic scarring is a potential risk, but normally a relatively low risk. A comprehensive evaluation in-person is required. Speak with a specialist to help determine appropriate options for you. 

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Is Alarplasty a Dying Trend?

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This procedure is definitely not a dying trend. There are many different ways to accomplish this depending on the anatomy of  each patient; your risk of scarring will depend on what is done for you. A picture of the base of your nose would help me make suggestions but this rarely a problem.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 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.