How Much Nostril Base Reduction is Possible with Natural Results?

can the junction between nose base and face changed or brought in? if not how is the nose base width reduced?

Doctor Answers 11

Reducing the width of the nostrils

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Reduction of the width or flaring of the nostrils can be achieved through alar base reduction in rhinoplasty. These are commonly performed in my San Francisco Bay Area ethnic rhinoplasty practice, most often for Asian, African-American, and Indian patients. The most commonly employed techniques are the Sill Excision and Weir Excision. Careful examination and analysis of the nose can determine whether your issue is excessive width, flaring, or a combination of both.

The nostrils can be narrowed with very natural results but it is very important to have this surgery performed by a surgeon experienced in rhinoplasty. If the techniques are performed too aggressively, with the nostrils being overly narrowed, this can be challenging to reverse.

During the cosmetic rhinoplasty consultation, I have found computer imaging to be very useful. I take 7 different photos of the patient's nose and utilize a software program called Mirror to "morph" or "photoshop" the nose. This give the patient an idea of what could be achieved through rhinoplasty. For alar base reduction, this exercise is great for demonstrating to the patient what degree of nostril narrowing can be safely achieved. It is also an extremely helpful way for patients to express their aesthetic desires to me during the consultation. 


Dr. Mehta

Alar Base Reduction

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Yes, it is possible to change the width of your nostrils with alar base reduction surgery. When performed properly by a highly skilled surgeon, alar base reduction surgery can yield excellent results. It is important to choose a surgeon who has a great deal of experience with the procedure. Thank you, and good luck to you.

Dr. Nassif

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Alar reduction - goals and risks

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The alar base can certainly be narrowed.  However, the technical aspect in this case is far less important than the artistry.

For example, if the alar base is narrowed too much, the tip of the nose can appear bulky.

Should the alar bases be repositioned?  Patients from India often want their alar bases positioned lower to match the columellar show, not just narrowed.

What is the relationship between the nose and all its parts and the face as a whole?  You wouldn't want to create a dysharmony by making a change that made the nose look funny on the face, or the nose funny since the parts do not match any more.

A very artistic judgment is necessary in these assessments!

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Nostril base reduction with natural results

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The nasal base is reduced through alar plasty incisions whereby the 3-5 mm of skin can be removed from the base of the nostrils, which narrows the nostrils themselves. The columellar show can be brought in 3-5 mm and by differential trimming of the caudal and columellar septum, both cartilaginous and membranous components.  

Alar Base Reduction

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There are several techniques to narrow the base of the nose - the technique depends on the amount of nostril relative to the tip height and the absolute width of the nasal base relative to your facial width and proportions.  It is sometimes necessary to remove excess nostril skin and sometimes necessary to remove the skin between the nostrils.  It is very important that the surgeon not remove too much nostril skin or remove the acute transition zone between the nostril and cheek skin - as this will result in an unnatural look in the base of the nose.

Nasal base reduction

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The base of the nose can be reduced by reducing the size of the nostril openings or leave them intact and just change the thickness of the nasal alar. If  your nasal base is very wide both should be changed to achieve a more balanced look. There are many different ways to reduce a nostril and it all depends on the shape of the nostril. It is often done in an ethnic nose. Make sure to find a surgeon that has done many of these type of noses.

Norman Ge, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

Natural Result after Nasal Base Reduction

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A natural result is less dependant on how much is removed, but rather on how much is left after reduction. Nasal size and contour above the base will determine exactly what should be done to achive a natural, proportional result. 

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Nostril base reduction

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If the base of the nostrils is wider than the medial or inside portion of the lower eyelid margin, it is reasonable to narrow the nostril base. Typically, this is done through small incisions in the sill or hidden aspect of the nostril openings. Sometimes depending upon flaring other adjustments need to be made but it is an acceptable procedure that is often performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty or nose surgery but can be done as a stand alone procedure.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Nostril base width reduction

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Certainly the nostril base can be reduced in patients taht apepar wide.  But this will vary from individual to individual.

Alar base reduction.

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The alar base can be narrowed, but how much it is narrowed depends on other factors as well. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon knows how much to narrow this without making the tip look larger, etc. See an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon and you should not have any problem.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.