Is it possible to reduce the width of my alar base by 1 cm (5mm on each side)?

I recently asked this question and got mixed answers and some were confusing and did not answer my question.Does the thickness or softness of my tissue make a difference? I am asking if I would be able to reduce my alar base by 1 cm (5 mm on each side) if it fit my face and did not effect my breathing.

Doctor Answers 12

Reducing the alar base of the nose

1 cm (5 mm on each side) is a generous amount. You may look too pinched unless the ala are quite wide objectively, not subjectively. A picture would have helped. The procedure is very straight forward, but it's the nuances that make it challenging to create balance and a natural look.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Alar base reduction

A simple answer to this question is yes, it is possible to perform a 1cm reduction. However, as you have already received numerous answers on this subject I will try to make it clear that most surgeons would find that aggressive and which could result in an unforgiving scar that is very hard to reverse.

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Alar base reduction

Great question!  Yes it is possible to reduce the alar base, however what is more important is how that will look on your face.  By narrowing your base this significantly, you will alter the facial proportions and there are certain measurements that need to be adhered for an aesthetic appearance, as reducing too much will not look right.  Best recommendation can be provided with an in person consultation so that a physical examination can be performed.  

Best of luck and hope this information helps!

- Dr. Roger Tsai

Roger Tsai, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Theoretical Questions Not Informative


Rather than asking these theoretical questions, go on a few consults.  5 mm is a large distance though, and even if it is possible, if doesn't suit you, you'll have a hard time finding a reputable surgeon that would do it so aggressively. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Is it possible to reduce the width of my alar base by 1 cm (5mm on each side)?

Alar base reductions are more complex than just narrowing the base of the nose. They impact nasal proportions and other components of your nose and your face. It is possible to remove 5mm per side in any person. If that is advisable and will give you the result that you desire is the important question. I think you would be served best by seeing an experienced surgeon. Explaining your goals and then letting them offer you surgical options.

Afshin Parhiscar, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Is it possible to reduce the width of my alar base by 1 cm (5mm on each side)?

Only a face-to-face physical exam can tell you precisely how much narrowing is possible from alar base reduction.  It is not so much the texture of the tissues but their thickness and width both in the alar base and nostril sill region.  Excessive narrowing is a bad idea so be careful to avoid being overly aggressive in setting your goals.

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Alar base excision considerations #plasticsurgery

An alar base excision is a class of procedures done in conjunction with rhinoplasty to reduce the bulk, flaring and size of the nasal ala and to reduce the width of the nostrils themselves. They are customized for each patient situation, based on careful analysis of patient photographs and discussion with patients about cosmetic goals.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Rhinoplasty candidate

A full set of photographs of the base of the nose are required to make a determination about how much skin can be removed within an alar-plasty. Patients who have a wide nasal base can accommodate 5 mm of removal of skin on each side. Patients who have a thin nose cannot.

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

Large reduction in alar width

A skilled plastic surgeon will balance the amount of resection of the alar bases with the overall appearance and function.  If your reduction is too aggressive, this can result in distortion of the nostrils or overly narrowed nostrils, a very difficult problem to fix.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Is it possible to reduce the width of my alar base by 1 cm?

Yes, it is possible and appropriate in some patients to reduce the alar base by that amount and I have done so on occasion to proper patients. 

Curtis Perry, MD
Downey Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 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.