Could you literally cut off the bases of the nostrils and move the position up but leave the tip alone?

my nose tip is round and upturned and my nostrils are large and round and sit much lower than the tip. I want the tip and nostrils reduced, but is it also possible to bring the position of the bases of the nostrils up higher so they are more in line with my nose tip? I've heard of people asking that their high nostrils be brought lower but never this so I don't know how this would be achieved.

Doctor Answers 9

Reducing the alar bases

Prominent alar lobules can be corrected using an alar wedge excision. However, the traditional technique of excising the alar bases on the outside of the nose with an incision along the nasal cheek junction, termed Weir excision, has fallen out of favor due to unsightly scars that result and which are apparent. A more recent technique involves excising this region using an internal excision such that the scar falls within the internal nares which allows for a more camouflaged scar. The specific excision design depends on the shape of your alar rims and requires a consultation with your surgeon.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 48 reviews


Your nostrils likely can be altered using alar wedge excisions, which remove wedges of skin in the groove where your nostrils meet the cheeks. The scars heal imperceptibly.  You should consult a pastic surgeon with extensive rhinoplasty experience together more details on your options,

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Nasal Alar Base Repositioning

The alar bases of the nostrils can be repositioned so that they are higher up but before moving forward with this an in-person consultation is recommended with 3-D imaging so that you can visualize what you may look like afterwards.  Please consult with a board certified specialist in the face who can help you achieve the results you seek.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Changing the shape of your nose #nosejob

I am not exactly sure what you are asking. But, it is possible to make the nostrils smaller and change the shape without affecting the tip. We call them alar excisions and there are several types depending on what your desire and or problems are.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews


You really need an in-person exam to delineate exactly what is possible.  Albeit rare, the lateral alar insertion can be moved up.  It will leave a small scar where the ala used to be, but usually heals very well.  See out a board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon for a consultation.  Best wishes

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Raising the position of nostrils on the face.

Raising the position of nostrils on the face is not done because it would leave bad scars on the face. 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Could you literally cut off the bases of the nostrils and move the position up but leave the tip alone?

An exam would be better to answer this question, but, in general, moving the bases upward on the face is not something that is done.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties and rhinoplasty revisions each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Improving the alar-columellar relationship during rhinoplasty

The position where the nostrils attach to the face can be moved inward (more narrow) but generally can not be moved higher or lower on the face.  However, changing the relationship and/or shape of the tip/nostrils may improve the appearance of this aspect of your nose.  Photos or an in-person evaluation would allow for a better determination of what is needed.  

Donald B. Yoo, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews


Thank you for your question but a full exam accompanied by digital photos is really needed to see what aesthetically would give you the best result. By altering the photos you would be able to show the Md what you are looking for and then he would be able to determine whether that is possible and if there are better alternatives aesthetically. Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 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.