What rhinoplasty options are there for me? Am I a good candidate for an alar base reduction? (photos)

I'm 22 and I've always felt like my nose is too wide for my face. I'm considering an alar base reduction. But I'm not sure if Thats what I need. I feel like the bridge and length is okay. But me main complaint is that the width of my nose basically ruins my face, especially when I smile. Overall I want just a subtle change to my nose that'll put it in harmony with the rest of my face. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 16

Rhinoplasty Goals - Thick skin

Though you mentioned you don't need your bridge addressed, the balance between your bridge, tip and nostrils is critically important in creating an attractive nose. Often the thickness of the skin requires increasing the projection of the tip of the nose, in addition to reshaping the cartilage, to increase its definition and size.

Consult with an experienced rhinoplasty specialist and look carefully at his/her Before/Afters to find a surgeon with the aesthetic that matches yours.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

What rhinoplasty options are there for me?

Yes. You appear to be a good candidate for rhinoplasty. One point of discussion for you to discuss with your surgeon is that you appear to have fairly thick nasal tip skin. This will, to some degree, limit the amount of refinement that is possible with your tip. However, tip modification and nasal base reduction should create significant improvement in the size and shape of your nose. Best.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

What rhinoplasty options are there for me? Am I a good candidate for an alar base reduction?

Improving the nostril width is a frequent request of patients wanting nasal refinement. It is possible to improve the cosmetic appearance of the nostrils alone without altering the rest of the nose in some patients. Whether the optimal option in your particular situation would be a tnostril base reduction alone or a full rhinoplasty would best be determined at a consultation. 

Following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do based on limited 2 dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of the operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon with extensive nasal surgery experience who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or a facial plastic surgeon (ENT) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla,California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Rhinoplasty to narrow a wide nose

  A rhinoplasty procedure can accomplish narrowing wide nasal bones, narrowing the bridge line, narrowing the tip, and narrowing  wide nostrils. For many examples, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Your limiting factor is thick nasal tissues

You need complete rhinoplasty. Your results will still be limited by your existing tissue characteristics. Thick skin and nasal tissues limit your achievable outcome.  In addition to nostril reduction you need nasal tip refinement and narrowing of your nasal bridge.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Alar base reduction and tip rhinoplasty

An alar base reduction would be a good procedure for you. This would narrow the width of your nose. In exchange, your nose tip may end up appearing wider. The tip of your nose is rounded and you may benefit from tip refinement. This would balance out the alar base reduction.

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

What rhinoplasty options are there for me? Am I a good candidate for an alar base reduction?

Hello couleesmile,
Thanks for your question.
Looking at the pictures of your nose, it would seem that you need augmentation of the bridge of your nose, tip structure reduction, and a conservative alar base reduction procedure.
If you were to just narrow the nose without raising the bridge the end result would be unsatisfactory and not at all harmonious with the rest of your face.
I would recommend that you consult with a rhinoplasty specialist in your area.
Good luck,
Dr. Shah

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Rhinoplasty Candidate

Rhinoplasty to address the size and shape of your nose should help you address your concerns. You have to understand that there is no such thing as the “perfect” nose. As rhinoplasty surgeons, we are able to improve the structure and function of the nose to address specific issues you have with how your nose looks and and how well you can breathe. Perfect symmetry does not exist in nature. Attempts to improve the symmetry of your nose should be aimed at achieving an improvement in your asymmetry to the point where it is no longer very noticeable. If you look carefully enough, you will always be able to find imperfections. The goal is a normal looking nose that is in harmony with the rest of your anatomy.

Am I a Good Candidate for an Alar Base Reduction?

Physically you're a good candidate for a limited rhinoplasty to narrow your nasal base. However, consider also narrowing and refining your nasal tip.

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


It looks  like you could benefit from a full rhinoplasty. The tip also appears bulbous but there might be some limitations to refinement with the thick skin that it appears you have in the photos.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 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.