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

Excessive alar base reduction can be improved, but not reversed

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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.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Reversing Alar Base Reduction

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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
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Reversing an alar base reduction

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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!

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

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Reversing Alar Base Reduction

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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 88 reviews

Not really!

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 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
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

When planning alar base reductions, consider it irreversible

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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
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Reversal of Alar Base Reduction

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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 126 reviews

No Reversal - Possible Revision

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Unfortunately alar base reduction is not reversible. It is possible to perform scar revision procedures to help things look more natural, but it is not possible to replace the skin which was removed during the procedure.

D.J. Verret, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Alar base reduction reversal rhinoplasty

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No. Unfortunately, you will never be able to recreate the old nose again. Rhinoplasty surgery is not reversible. Changes can still be made to adjust the nasal shape, however, with additional rhinoplasty surgery or minor treatments.

Typically, a small portion of the nostril skin is removed to narrow a wide alar base. There are procedures to widen the nostrils, with flaps of skin and/or cartilage grafts. These tissue grafts may be taken from other parts of the face, such as the ears.

Speak with a rhinoplasty surgeon regarding cosmetic treatment options for the alar base.

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.