Can my alar base be repositioned lowered (to decrease nostril show)? If so, how can this be done?

Hi I read from a Dr. answer on real self that his indian patients often "want their alar bases positioned lowered to match the columellar show, not just narrowed" - how is it doable to reposition alar base lower? what techniques would it be? I thought nostril flare & wide alars could be adjusted but I didn't know the alar base itself could be brought lower? I am indian and have higher positioned alar base/nostrils (can provide pics)

Doctor Answers 9

Alar reduction

It is hard to give you advice with photos.  Alar reduction will reduce the flare of the nostrils but probably will not affect a hanging columella.  The hanging columella can be addressed with a different procedure.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Alar base repositioning

The alar base position can be changed by excising the skin in and around the ala. Depending on the design of the excision, it can be used to reduce flaring or narrow a wide ala.  It is important to have an in-office examination to determine the type of alar base repositioning you would need to achieve your desired look. Your skin type may also affect how well the scars are hidden after the procedure. Hope this helps!

Johnson C. Lee, MD Plastic Surgery

Johnson C. Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Alar Base Repositioning


Changes of the position of the alar base is done by excising skin around it. A detailed analysis of your nose is warranted to see if that is indeed something that would benefit you. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Alar Base Repositioning

Lowering the alar bases is done by skin excision around them. This does create fine line scars in the alar-facial grooves and will change the shape of the nostrils to some degree.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Alar repositioning

The ala can be repositioned up, down, inward and outward.  This is done with various techniques depending on the individual case.  Please send your pictures to  Best wishes.

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Lowering alar base

Your question indicates the critically important desire to become an educated patient.  Techniques incorporated to achieve a given surgical result, however, are individualized based on operator preferences and patient related factors.  Plastic surgery is largely a collection of problem solving techniques based on a broad, deep, yet incomplete foundation of scientific knowledge.  When you begin asking "how" and "why," it's likely time for personal consultation.  Alar base changes are usually office procedures, local anesthesia.  I have one (from out of town) scheduled today.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Alar base position

Hello and thank you for your question. Alar base position can be adjusted in the right patient for the appropriate indication.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and not just a computer animation system. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

It all depends - but scarless is the way to go!

It all depends. With Closed Scarless Rhinoplasty, your nostrils can be adjusted to some degree.  The key is to maintain the natural look of the nose while enhancing it subtly.  Often too much is done to noses when in fact, refinement comes from less than more sometimes. 

Do consult a board certified nose surgeon who specializes 100% in Rhinoplasty and offers Scarless Closed Rhinoplasty. 

All the best!

Deepak Raj Dugar, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Alar base repositioning is a very common procedure


Thanks for your question. 

I don't see why reposition the alar base instead of treating the columellar show, but truth is it can certainly be repositioned (for other purposes normally). I frequently reposition it (mostly medially) in order to make the nostrils smaller. 

Hope this answers your question. If not, feel free to contact me. 

Take care, 

Dr. Fernandez Goico

Luis A. Fernandez Goico, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 133 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.