How Can a Retracted Columella and Hanging Alar Be Fixed?

I have what I think are called hanging ala and a retracted columella and I was wondering how/what procedures can be done to fix it? I don't know if this is relevant but I am asian.

Doctor Answers 3

Correcting a retracted alar and hanging ala

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The hanging ala can be very subtly retracted by removing a small portion of the fibrofatty tissue on the inside of the ala to give a little bit of retraction.  A retracted columella can be augmented with a small cartilage graft to push down the columella and give more columellar show and a better alar columellar relationship.  

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Hanging columella

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Dear Toronto8353,

A retracted columella can be fixed.  Given your anatomy, a columellar plumping graft can be inserted in between the medial crura of the lower cartilages (which is where the cartilages meet in the middle).  This can be done using a piece of your septal cartilage, which is the cartilage that divides the 2 sides of your nose. 

An extended shield graft can also be placed to not only plump up the columella, but also give the tip a little more definition.


Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews


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The treatment for a hanging alar rim is removal of a sliver of skin of the hair bearing area on the outer wall inside the nostril. The maximum width of this sliver is about 3mm because if you take out too much the rim will roll into the nostril.

The treatment of for a retracted columella is a cartilage graft placed between the 2 C-shaped cartilages of the nasal tip. The graft is designed to give forward and downward projection where it is needed and is sutured to the C-shaped tip cartilages so its position can be fixed.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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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.