Do I Need Alarplasty? (photo)

My nostrils show too much, but I'm not sure what will fix it. I think that my nostrils are pulled down below my columella and it gives me sort of a "pig nose" but when I smile it's like they're pushed back up and in line with my columella and my nostrils show isn't as prominent. There is also some nostril asymmetry. How can I fix this and what exactly needs to be addressed?

Doctor Answers 8

Alar Base Reduction and Tip Refinement

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    Alar base reduction with tip refinement will likely produce the result you are seeking.  Find the plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties each year.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA


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I think your nostrils are already small enough and do not think an Alarplasty would be worthwhile in your case.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Too much nostril

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Honestly , from the photos provided you appear to have a very attractive nose. I would not recommend a stand alone alar reduction in that they seem to be proper size in relation to the rest of your nose.I do see a slight vertical difference of your alar bases but this appears to be too small to reliably correct with surgery.

Alar resection would only be appropriate along with a full rhinoplasty which would include nasal thinning, dorsal graft to incresase fullness and tip lengthening.

Algird R. Mameniskis, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Rhinoplasty for flared nostrils

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Your photos suggest that you have an Asian face with an Asian nose.  Refinement might include narrowing the entire nose, including the alar bases, and providing more support and refinement at the tip.  Some thinning of the thick fibrofatty tissues would also be indicated.  It might be necessary to get cartilage from behind an ear to provide needed support since the nose looks flat, which suggests inadequate septal cartilage available fro grafting.  Be sure to consult a Board certified Plastic Surgeon who cah show you a comprehensive portfolio of pre- and post-op results so you can gauge the results that you might achieve.


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An alarplasty is performed to treat flare or excessive nasal width. An exam in person looking at the entire face is helpful.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

alar plasty for wide nostrils

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  Alar plasty  is performed for wide nostrils. When the width of the nostrils are too wide or asymmetrical, different amounts of skin can be removed at the floor of the nose to make them look more symmetrical. This can be done  at the same time as a rhinoplasty, or can be performed as a stand-alone procedure

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Nostril reduction

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You may benefit from a wedge excision of your nostrils to refine this area. You should meet with a facial plastic surgeon who performs a lot of base reductions to get a precise recommendation.

Roy A. David, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty candidate

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Dear Lizzy, You are an excellent candidate for rhinoplasty surgery. The best way to show you the proposed surgical results for your nose is to use a digital imaging computer during your initial consultation. Seek a well qualified rhinoplasty expert for consultation and upon direct examination a proper surgical plan will be advised and explained. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 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.