Is alar base reduction a good choice? (photo)

I'm interested in getting an alar base reduction. I'm not worried about my side profile. I really just don't like the width of my nostrils from the front. What would you recommend?

Doctor Answers 7

Is alar base reduction a good choice?

The areas that concern you can be realistically cosmetically improved to produce a better harmony with the rest of your nose.

Keep in mind that following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do based on limited two dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling your 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. Natural appearing results need to be individualized and what is appropriate for one patient is not necessarily the best for someone else. I would suggest that you find a surgeon certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or facial plastic surgeon (otolaryngologist) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, M.D., FACS

La Jolla, California

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Nasal Alar Base Reduction

Reducing the base will decrease the width so it is proportional with the rest of your nose. This can be achieved with incisions inside the nose.

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

Alar base reduction for nostril width

Hi Jessica,

Alar base reduction would be a good option for you to reduce both your nostril width and flare (rounding of the nostrils). Keep in mind that everything in the nose is related proportionately so, if you narrow your nostrils more, it can make your tip itself seem to appear wider than it does now. I think you would find it helpful to have a consultation with a rhinoplasty surgeon who can show you with computer imaging what type of result you could expect from nostril reduction alone vs. combining with subtle tip refinement if that is something of interest to you. 

All the best,
Jason Litner, MD

Jason Litner, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Alar base reduction candidate

From the one photo presented, it does appear that you are a good candidate for an alar base reduction.  alar base reduction can be performed either inside the nostrils or at the nose upper/ lip junction.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Alar Base Reduction

Based on your picture, your nose appears to be a little wider than ideal and therefore could potentially benefit. Keep in mind that in general, there are incisions within the nose and can reduce the width, and incisions along the crease of the nostril on the outside that can reduce the flare of the nostrils. The latter are more complicated and a bad result can be very noticeable. Therefore you should seek out physicians who make rhinoplasty a focus of their practice as a poorly done alar base modification can lead to a "done" look.

In addition, in an Asian nose (which I'm assuming based on your nose and facial characteristics visible in the photo), often times increasing tip projection can also be helpful in achieving a more defined nasal shape.

Michael M. Kim, MD

Michael M. Kim, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Alar base reduction is a legitimate option in this instance.

I think there is a case to be made for Alar reduction. I would suggest you try video imaging to make certain that you will be pleased with the result. There's no going back after the operation.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Is alar base reduction a good choice?

   I think that alar base reduction is reasonable based upon the photo provided.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 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.