Will an alar rim graft lower the height of my nostrils?

My nostrils are a bit tall and I was wondering how this can be fixed? I've heard some people achieve this by alar rim grafts and I was wondering of this was true.

Doctor Answers 5

Lowering the Alar Arch

Hello,Alar rim grafts do not effectively lower the rims, but they do improve the contour between the alar arch and the tip.  A more effective method is lateral crural repositioning.Best of luck!


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Rhinoplasty: lowering the height of your nostrils

A common request in rhinoplasty is to change the height of the nostril. Typically it's to show less of the nostril when looking at the face from the front view.There are 3 techniques available to change the nostril.1) Alar rim grafts stiffen the rim and improve the contour from the tip to the nostril rim. It does not do much for changing the position of the nostril.2) Composite grafts taken from the ear have both cartilage and skin. These are effective if the problem is deficient vestibular skin or scarring inside the nose.3) The most aggressive and complicated technique is lateral crural strut grafts to reposition the lower lateral cartilages. Significant change is complex and perfect symmetry is rare. Discuss the the risks with your surgeon before pursuing any of these options. Safety comes first. 

Victor Chung, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Lowering nostril height

Yes, alar rim grafts are one way of reducing alar retraction or elevation. Another method is lower lateral crural repositioning which is best when more significant movement is needed.I can't say whether either is indicated in your situation without seeing your nose though.Check out my web reference link below to learn more about alar rim grafting.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Alar rim graft to lower the height of the nostrils

A full set of photographs of the nose and face are required to make a determination about what needs to be accomplished with a difficult rhinoplasty surgical procedure. Composite grafts  are composed of both skin and cartilage are usually required to lower the alar rim when there's alar  retraction. A columella-plasty is performed when there is a hanging columella. Alar rim grafts are best used to stiffen the alar rim to prevent collapse upon inspiration. For more information and many before and after rhinoplasty examples, please see the link and the video below

Alar batten grafts

Hello and thank you for your question. Alar batten grafts can be used to lower the height of the ala in patients with alar retraction.  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 80 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.