Alarplasty for High and Flared Nostrils?

I have a decent bridge but I have very flared nostrils and they are high as well. I want my nostils to be greatly reduced and the bridge narrowed a little bit, like Janet Jackson's nose. But the doctor told me this is impossible, and the results I want would be mininimal at best. Can I get this type of nose through Alarplasty with the one I have?

Doctor Answers 11

Nasal problems are always unique

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Although I am not sure you can have a nose as narrow as Janet Jackson, you should certainly be able to accomplish your goals. An alarplasty alone just wont get you there. You would need a comprehensive Rhinoplasty and a good amount of patience to achieve that sort of look. The pro and cons of your nose towards your goals are:


  • You have medium thickness skin, which will over time allow for definition and narrowing. If your skin was overly thick, then you often do not get as much as you want. With medium thickness, you get there but it just takes more time
  • You appear to have strong enough tip cartilages to work with
  • The overall width of the nose is not severe


  • You have medium thickness skin
  • You will require cartilage grafts to the bridge and tip to provide extra height and support
  • Your tip cartilages are 'cephalically oriented' which is mostly the reason that your nostrils arch so severely. Cephalic orientation means that the cartilage in the upper part of your tip points more towards your eye than it should. When cartilages point more towards the ear, they support and flatten the nostril. Adding alar rim grafts should help to flatten the nostril margin.
  • You still need an alar base reduction

Adding a profile view to your question would help to analyze your nose. However, no picture replaces a consultation/examination.

Good luck

Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Alarplasty alone will not provide the result that you are seeking

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Alarplasty is only one part of nasal reconstruction. It ususally is performed at the end of the surgery. Think of the procedure similar to listening to a symphony. The last part only makes sense after the first parts have been heard. The size, shape and contour of the alae should relate to the rest of the nose and modification of the alae depends on the structural integrity of the dorsum, septum, upper lateral and lower lateral cartilages. Consultation with a board certified surgeon with a great deal of experience performing rhinoplasties should prorvide you with sufficient information to make an informed decision as to what you can expect and how you wish to proceed.

Jack A. Friedland, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon

Alarplasty alone not recommended for this case

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 If an alarplasty is performed on the flaring nostrils that are shown in the picture, this will result in higher flare and will look unnatural. It is not advised to do so.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Rhinoplasty (nose job) for low bridge and wide, high, and flared nostrils

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The nose type and appearance you are requesting may require a complex procedure at significant expense.

The heighten the bridge you will require a graft (ear or rib) or less preferably an implant.

The nasal tip will have to be built up to match the new bridge as well, This may require grafts from the septum or ear.

The ala (nostrils) will likely require an alar base reduction as well as a graft along the lining to bring them down and reduce the high rims. This may also need to be obtained from the ears.

No one is trying to discourage you but you must be prepared for the magnitude of the procedure as well as the associated risks.

Seek a consultation with a qualified surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

No you cannot.

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 You will need not only an alar reduction but also a lowering of your high nostrils as well. The nose can be narrowed at the same time. See an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who has done many ethnic noses.

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

The height of your nostrils may be lowered with a Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty.

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I read your questions, and saw your frontal photo. Although you may require surgery to address all of your concerns, you could consider a non-surgical approach with Injectable Fillers to lower the height of your nostrils. This could lead to less nostril show. I don't find your bridge to be too wide.

I've attached a link to my Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty photos for your perusal.

I hope this helps, and best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Alar reduction by it self will not work for you

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Your pictures from the front is helpful but the lateral view is a must for evaluation of the nose. Rhinoplasty with narrowing of the dorsum and tip rhinoplasty and alar reduction will help. I like to do computer imaging for all rhinoplasty and discuss the changes with the patient. There are limitation to the rhinoplasty and result will vary from patient to patient.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews


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Every rhinoplasty has to be tailored for the individual.  Things can be altered, but unlikely to give you the exact result of someone else.  Alar base reductions can be performed can certainly the dorsum can be narrowed.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Alarplasty in Nasal Surgery

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Your alae can be reduced and the nostril rims lowered with cartilage grafts. You will not be able to achieve a nose that looks exactly like Janet Jackson's, but sharing this will give your surgeon a clear understanding of what you would like to achieve. With that information he/she can help you establish reasonable expectations. Select a surgeon experienced in ethnic rhinoplasty.

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

Janet Jackson's Nose

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Although a number of patients come in requesting a nose like "so and so...", I never tell a patient that they can achieve that look. More importantly, what you want to know is how much improvement can a surgeon achieve with what you have to start with. It is important that you only consult with a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon (ENT). Your physician should first discuss with you what your goals and expectations are. Then he/she should examine you and give you a realistic idea of what can be done with what your particular problems and anatomy are. You have got to be realistic and listen to your surgeon. The closer he/she comes to what you actually want the happier you will be. That may mean lowering some of your expectations. You do not want an unnatural looking nose. It has got to look natural and fit your facial proportions. An alarplasty alone in your case is not likely to improve things and you may need more, but there is definitely something that can be done to get improvement.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

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.