Can the Sides and Base of my Nose Be Made Narrower And/or Thinner?

I had a primary rhinoplasty (three weeks ago) &although I know it is still swollen, I am pretty unhappy with the parts that were left alone. In my procedure my doc thinned my bridge down & rounded it out more as it had been very flat. Also my tip was supposed 2be thinned out &lowered a little since I had an upturned nose which isn't obvious yet. My question is could the sides (alar skin) have been thinned? My base & sides just seems so wide for a feminine nose &I want my eyes 2seem bigger. Help!

Doctor Answers 8

Thin nose

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You are way ahead of yourself. You are still very swollen and it will be months before you see how your nostrils and and sides will sit. Don't even think about doing something else yet. Be patient.

West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sides and Base of the Nose Narrower and Thinner

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The base of the nose, nostrils or ala can be made to be both narrower and have less flare.  That can be done as part of a primary rhinoplasty or even under local anesthesia after the primary rhinoplasty has healed and swelling has gone down.  It is usually reserved for patients with excessively large or flaring nostrils which doesn't seem to be the case from your photos.   I would hold off on judging how small, narrow or thin your nose is for now because at 3 weeks you are definitely still swollen.  The majority of the swelling will be gone by 6 weeks but some changes in the skin particularly at the nasal tip may not be apparent for even up to a year. 

James C. Marotta, MD
Long Island Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Can my nose be made thinner and narrower?

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There are procedures available to make your nose thinner and narrower, including your alar base. From your pictures, it seems that you are still swollen and recovering. I would advice against doing anything before six months after your surgery, sometimes even a year. Allow for the swelling and scarring to settle down, then reevaluate yourself down the line.

Thin base

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You are too early in the hrealing cycle to advise. Yes you can narrow your nose but, from what I see, I wouldn't advise it. Alar base narowing changes the natural shape if over done. You look fine at this stage

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Relax and recover

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You just had your nose done, you still have black and blue and bruising. It is WAY too early to worry about what to do or what can be done. Cover the mirrors in your house and let nature take it's course. The swelling in the tip of the nose may take up to a year, and sometimes more to go away. Then you worry about what else to do.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Thinning the Alar Rim

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It looks like you have an ethnic nose. Also it looks like you may have had your nostrils narrowed at some point. Although you still have a lot of swelling, the alar base can still be thinned. It all depends on whether you had anything done to the nostrils in the past. Alar base can be narrowed and thinned from a vertical and horizontal aspect.  See my website below.

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 285 reviews

Rhinoplasty and nostrils

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The skin along the ala can thin out over time.  The surgery itself causes inflammation when you separate the skin from the cartilage.  It is still very early how much the skin will thin out, but I would be patient.  it very difficult to get an exact amount of skin to be thinned out, usually we remove some fat from the underneath the skin layer and let the forces of healing do the rest.  Some people just have thicker skin and it can be hard to it to thin out in a reliable fashion because everyone heals differently.  I would just wait and see what happens when all the swelling comes down, it is still very very early in your healing process.



Nima Shemirani

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

In rhinoplasty, beauty depends on proportion

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Not any nose can be changed into any nose, as you already know.  The decision to do or not do something in rhinoplasty has a lot do with proportion--the balance of one area against another.

I would not narrow your base because it will make your tip seem wider.  You need the width that you have for balance. Your surgeon did just right.

Wait, and heal, and enjoy your new nose!

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua 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.