Can I Achieve These Results with Alar Base Reduction Alone? (photo)

I think my nostrils are too wide and too round for my face. I'm ok with the rest of my nose but I would like for my nostrils to be taken in a bit. I've been looking into Alar base reduction thinking that it might be what I need since I do not want to change anything else but the width of my nostrils. I edited a photo of mine to show what I want my desired results to be. Are these possible with alar base reduction? Again, I didn't make the tip smaller or changed the columella, only the nostrils

Doctor Answers 22

Alar Base Reduction

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This is a common request from patients who feel that the nostrils are too wide and experience flaring of their nostrils when smiling. Alar base reduction can achieve a narrower nostril width and can generally be done under local anesthesia.  It appears as if you have realistic goals based on your photos but please consult with a board certified specialist who can help you achieve the results you seek.


Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Alar base narrowing

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Alar base narrowing procedures can be performed as a stand alone procedure under local anaesthesia.  The change shown in your "after" picture are very natural, balanced and realistic.  A photo of the bottom (base) of your nose would be helpful as the shape of your nostrils and how they attach to your face influences what procedure would be best for you.

Andrew B. Denton, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Alar base reduction or nostril reduction

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While it is possible to do an alar base reduction separately from a rhinoplasty, it sounds more simple than it really is. An important thing to keep in mind is that any one thing you change on a nose affects the appearance of the entire nose, since you change the proportion of one thing relative to another. While the shape of your tip may not bother you now, if you bring the nostrils in significantly, it may seem more bulbous than it did before. Also, depending on the technique and amount of reduction, the nostrils may take on an unnatural shape or curvature, or even cause difficulty breathing if too narrow. Often alar base reduction is done in the context of a rhinoplasty because you have the opportunity to do the other maneuvers that may be necessary to prevent these problems, such as adding support from the inside at the same time as you narrow the base. Your best bet is to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon who has experience doing alar base reductions, and ask to see his /her before and after photos, and take a close look at the shape and scars. There are a number of different techniques used to narrow the base, and when done poorly the scarring is obvious and the shape is unnatural. It is much better to do your research before surgery and choose an experienced surgeon that has results you like, rather than do your research afterwards because you need to fix something. It may be possible to achieve what you want with just an alar base excision, but the only way to give you an accurate answer is in person after a full exam.

Anita Patel, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Alar plasty imaging

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 Alarplasty involves a small incision at the base of the nostril to narrow the nostril.   The results shown are quite natural and achievable.   The alar plasty procedure can be performed under a local anesthesia

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Alar base reduction as the only procedure

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It is possible to complete alar reduction alone and have a nicely balanced result. Be sure to take your photos with during your consultation, so your surgeon can see clearly what you are expecting.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Alar Width Reduction

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You probably can get pretty close to the photo you altered by having an intra-sill nasal reduction. You can see the different techniques on the website bellow.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 285 reviews

Alar base reduction rhinoplasty

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Looks like you have made your diagnosis and found your treatment option!  Find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who can show you a comprehensive portfolio of pre- and post-op pictures so you can gauge his/her expertise with alar base narrowing (Weir excisions).

Alar Base Reduction Should Accomplish What You Want

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If you would be happy with the results in your "after" photo then alar base reduction by itself should be able to accomplish this. It could be done with a straight local anaesthetic and would heal quickly without bruising or obvious swelling.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Alar base, large nostriles,narrowing nasal base

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The base of the nose and the nostrils can be narrowed with alar reduction without impacting the rest of the nose in the appropriate circumstances.  If the nostrils are tear-shapedthen the base can be narrowed in isolation.  If the nostrils are round or flared and only alar base reduction is performed the shape of the nostril will be distorted and abnormal in appearance.  In these cases need cartilage grafting to strengthen the sidewall of the nostril giving it a less rounded or flared up appearance.  Take the advice of your surgery regarding how to address the base of your nose.  To achieve the least surgical appearance  the different regions or subunits of the nose must have a harmonious relationship to each other.

Edward Farrior, MD
Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Can I Achieve These Results with Alar Base Reduction Alone?

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Possible but photo shopping is not real surgery where the tissue heals over time. Best to be seen in person. 

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.