Should I go with rhinoplasty and alarplasty or would the alarplasty be sufficient?

I want to get the alarplasty to reduce my nostrils size however I am worried that this will make my nose appear long and thick because the nostrils are now smaller.

Doctor Answers 8


Except for your nose being a bit crooked, it looks pretty good on the frontal view.  Also, it is generally not a great idea to break down a rhinoplasty into its component parts and pick on just one area.

Boston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Full rhinoplasty versus alar-plasty

An alar-plasty involves only narrowing wide nostrils from the base view. A full rhinoplasty involves making changes to the entire structure of the nose. Computer imaging and an in-person examination will help patients make that decision.

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

Alarplasty and/or rhinoplasty

Hello Alexisc188! - If you are just bothered by the size or your nostrils, you can definitely benefit from just an alarplasty.  However if there are other features of your nose that bother you, then you can consider rhinoplasty with alarplasty.  Best of luck!

Jacqueline T. Cheng, MD
San Jose Facial Plastic Surgeon

Should I go with rhinoplasty and alarplasty or would the alarplasty be sufficient?

Thanks for your question.  You certainly have some options here, but other photos are necessary along with an in person consultation to make that determination.  You should seek consultation with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon that specializes in rhinoplasty.  Best wishes.

A. Joshua Zimm, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

I find that computer imaging is a great way to determine of partial or full rhinoplasty is necessary

Often the nose is balanced. A Wide nose may be accompanied by wide nostrils. Alarplasty alone may be sufficient or you might need a full rhinoplasty for a balanced result. Computer imaging is a great way to evaluate both possibilities.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews


Thank you for your question and photograph.I would recommend scheduling a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty so that they can perform a nasal examination on you and give you the best recommendations. From what I can tell from your photographs, you may benefit from a tip rhinoplasty which includes trimming the lower lateral cartilages and placing precision sutures to refine the tip and make it look more pleasing along with an alarplasty which is the technique that is commonly used for nostril reduction. This procedure consists of making an incision on the inside or outside of the nostrils then removing a specific amount of tissue. I hope this helps.
Best of luck in your endeavors!
Sincerely, James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews


Hello and thank you for your question. Based on your photograph, you may benefit from a tip refining rhinoplasty. Your surgeon can accomplish this by trimming, suturing, and reshaping the cartilage in your lower nose. Cartilage grafts may also be used to help improve tip refinement. You may also benefit from a reduction in the width of the alar base (alarplasty).  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 123 reviews

Rhinoplasty and alarplasty

I think that you would have to be seen in person to be properly evaluated. Other photos are necessary to make an assessment.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.