Am I Good Candidate for Alar Base Reduction? (photo)

Hello Everyone, I'm having an alar base reduction operation this November. I have to admit I am quite nervous about the outcome. After initial consultation with the surgeon, he told me that I have to undergo alarplasty. My question is, given the condition of my nose, can alar base reduction as a stand alone procedure yield quite promising results? I'm also aware that since I have thick sebaceous glands, the tip may not be refined. Thank you for reading my letter I hope to hear from you. Clement

Doctor Answers 8

Alar base reduction candidate

Alar base reduction will narrow the nostrils by removing 3-4 mm of skin at the floor of the nose and is a good procedure. This can also be done just under a local anesthesia.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Alarplasty as an isolated procedure

Alarplasty would reduce your nostril width and alar flaring. However, if this is done as an isolated procedurel, I don't think you will be satisfied with the outcome. I think your nose bridge and tip should be addressed so your nose can be in a better harmony with itself and the rest of the face. 

Eric In Choe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Alar base reduction should be done conservatively and only when needed

The biggest problem with alar reduction is that is that it is irreversible. It also tends to be needed in patients who have thicker skin and don't heal well. I agree with you and your surgeon that you could benefit from this procedure. You need an element of narrowing and also a reduction in the flare (roundness of the nostril) - this is a more difficult combination than if you were to need only one of the two.

Charles S. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

It depends what you want

Alar base reduction alone with make your nose look somehwat less prominant.  The light reflections of the the ala are more pronounced when they are wide and curved like yours.  Alarplasty to narrow and straighten the ala can make them fall into the background more.  I do not think it will be easy to narrow your tip slignificantly given you thick skin.  You should discuss these details with your surgeon.

David W. Kim, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Alar base modification during rhinoplasty

As a standalone procedure, I do not think you will be satisfied with the results.  However, as part of a comprehensive rhinoplasty, it will certainly improve the appearance and balance of your nose.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Alar base reduction

I agree that you need a reduction in the width of the nostril and a reduction of alar flare.  In your nose, the scars should be well camoflauged in the crease where your nose meets your face and within the nostril.  Having sebaceous skin will also help minimize your scars. 

Alaplasty will only affect the base (lower third) of the nose and have only minimal effect on the tip.  I think it would be a good start and you could proceed onto other procedures if you wanted further refinement of your nose. 

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Alar base reduction procedure

Thanks for your qquestion.  In my opinion, you need narrowing of the nasal bones, the upper lateral cartilages and maybe some tip elevation in addition to alar base reduction, to bring balance to your whole face.  Good luck and take care. 

Melinda Lirag Lacerna-Kimbrell, MD, FACS
Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Alar base reduction only.

This is not a good idea.  You have wide nasal bones that need to be narrowed if you narrow the base since if you just did the base the bridge would then look too wide. 

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