How Long After Rhinoplasty Can I Have Alar Reduction?

 Because it was too upturned, and the bridge was narrowed. I'm only 2 weeks post-op. It doesn't look narrower yet but I know there is still swelling.

However, I wish that I would have had an Alar reduction. The doctor that I had the procedure with didn't think I needed it, but I had two other consults and both those doctors thought I needed it. My question is, How long would I have to wait to have an Alar Reduction after having Rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 10

Swelling from rhinoplasty should be resolved before deciding on alarplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Alar wedge reduction or alarplasty can be performed after a rhinoplasty, but it is important to wait at least two to three months to let the majority of the swelling subside prior to undertaking a decision to do the alarplasty. Alarplasty is nonreversible, and it is important to make that judgment decision once most of the swelling from the rhinoplasty has resolved.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Rhinoplasty with Alar Reduction or Alar Base Modification

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Generally speaking, alar modification is performed at the time of the rhinoplasty. Since the alar tissues are modified externally, and this would not involve reopening or manipulating the rest of the nose, the honest answer is that it could be done at any time. The risk is that, with a lot of swelling in the nose so soon post-op, the alar reduction may be disproportional.  For that reason, I would wait 3 or 4 months. Best of luck!

Alar Reduction after Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I recommend waiting 3-4 months after the rhinoplasty to decide if you want alar reduction. Take a deep breath; the anxiety you are experiencing two weeks after surgery is caused by the swelling you see and your uncertainty about the final result. Be sure to share your thoughts with your surgeon.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Alar Base Reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Minimum 6 months, better if 1 year. You really need to wait for things to settle to see all the relationships. You also need to really be aware of the resulting scars that alar reduction produces. It is unlike rhinoplasty where the scars are hidden. These scars are placed in locations where they are less likely to show, but still are some what prominent. So if you are borderline and can possibly do without, then I would not recommend it.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Wait 6 months.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

 Though all the welling won't be gone, enough will be to make the determination as to whether or not alar resections would be indicated for you.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

How Long to Wait After Rhinoplasty to do Alar Reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

One month minimum.

One year ideal.

If you are healing well and majority of the swelling is gone, then one month is safe. However, the shape of the nose might keep changing for the first year. That will make it difficult to assess the amount of alar reduction needed.

In summary, be patient and wait for one year.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Alar reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I assume you are talking about a wide alar base. I usually do this at the time of surgery if I am sure it is needed. If I am unsure or it is borderline, I will usually do it anytime that is convenient to the patient after about 6 weeks under local anesthesia. Fortunately, it is a fairly simple and painless revision with very little downtime if any.

Alar narrowing Can be Done at anytime

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Actually I try to stage alar narrowing on many of the Rhinoplasties I do. We will come back in 6-12 months to narrow the alar base if we actually feel it is needed. Most of the time when given a choice at that time, patients do not feel that anything further is required. If they do then we will proceed under a local anesthetic only. This is a skin operation and it does not involve bone or cartilage. The important thing to remember is that this is the one part of a Rhinoplasty procedure that cannot be undone! So it is crucial to get it right and to make sure the ala are consistent with the final width and structure of the tip after swelling has diminished.

S. Randolph Waldman, MD
Lexington Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Nasal Alar Reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi Trueblood,

At this point, two weeks after your rhinoplasty, it would be best to wait at least a few more weeks to allow the swelling of your nasal tissue to decrease. Let your nose settle, and then re-evaluate. Discuss your concerns with your rhinoplasty surgeon.

Make sure that your surgeon is comfortable with alar narrowing if you continue to feel that it is necessary. If your surgeon still feels that it is not indicated, you lose nothing be waiting. After a few months if you still disagree, then you may get other opinions.

Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Alar reduction rhinoplasty for nostril narrowing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}


Wide noses are a common problem. Generally, alar reduction to narrow the nostrils is a very straightforward procedure. Nostril narrowing may be performed with the initial rhinoplasty, or delayed as a touch up procedure as needed.

You may have alar reduction relatively soon after the initial rhinoplasty. If you and the rhinoplasty surgeon feel that alar narrowing is appropriate, then I suggest waiting at least 6 weeks to allow a majority of the initial surgical swelling to resolve, if not longer. Keep in mind rhinoplasty swelling last for months, with relative final results at 1 year postop. Re-evaluate for possible narrowing at that point before committing to anything early after surgery. Best of luck.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 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.