Is It Possible to Reverse an Alar Base Reduction after Rhinoplasty?

If an alar base reduction result looks unnatural after Rhinoplasty, is it possible at all to reverse it?

Doctor Answers 12

Results of alar base reduction is permanent

An alar reduction or alar plasty will narrow the base of the nose but will not thin the actual alar rim itself. This is the fleshy skin part of the nostril that cannot be reduced due to risk of scarring. The width of the actual nostrils can be reduced by removing a small portion of skin of the nostrils attached to the floor of the nose.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Excessive alar base reduction can be improved, but not reversed

In order to widen a nose that was excessively narrowed, one can add a composite graft of skin and cartilage to the inside of the nose, where the ala attaches to the face. The added scar in this position is not very noticeable. However, such approach can only add about three millimeters of widening, otherwise the scars may become too obvious.

I would not recommend this surgical intervention for cosmesis, I would only recommend surgery to improve obstructed breathing.

Maurice M. Khosh, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Reversing Alar Base Reduction

Reversing the unwanted narrowing can be done but consider the price you will pay. I'm not talking about money, I'm talking abour residual scarring and possible abnormal contour of the nostrils. Be careful and ask a lot of questions.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Reversing an alar base reduction

The answer is yes, but I would recommend waiting at least a year to see if you really want this done. The scarring may ease up and you may not need anything at all. However, if you really want it done, the incisions can be re-opened and skin grafts can be placed to open up the nostrils. Good luck!

Alar base reduction

It is not possible to reverse an alar base reduction without adding multiple scars on the alar rim amd having to add some sort of graft.  In general, I would say for a cosmetic rhinoplasty it is not done.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Over-done alar base reduction can be improved but not reversed

Alar base reduction involves removing a wedge or section of skin and soft tissue from some portion of the nostril base. Using techniques such as rearrangement of soft tissue from the surrounding areas or skin/cartilage (composite) grafting, these problems can be improved, but will not prefectly reverse the original procedure.

David W. Kim, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Reversing Alar Base Reduction

Not feasible.  The scars are not acceptable and the result is not acceptable.  So in short, no it is not reversible.  What can be done is if the nose, bony part is too wide, that can be narrowed to give the appearance and provide a better proportion.

Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Not really!

 There are ways to revise the scar, but not to increase the width. There is a way to make it appear larger if the nose is over projected.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

When planning alar base reductions, consider it irreversible

There are creative things a rhinoplasty surgeon may consider if alar base reductions lead to an undesirable result. These revisions rarely look great, even in the most experienced hands.

Therefore, before doing alar base reduction, you should consider this move irreversible.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Reversal of Alar Base Reduction

It can be improved to some degree by using local flaps but the results will never be that great.
There are very few surgeons who can handle such a challenge. The one that comes to mind is Dr. Kridell in Texas. He has a lot of experience in alar base reduction. The second surgeon will be Dr. Fred Stucker in Louisiana.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 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.