Can the Side of my Nostril on the Outside Be Reduced?

I Am having other things done to my nose like deprojection and tip work but the problem for me is, When I get this done, the nostrils will still be large and look out of place with the rest of my nose. Can the outside be reduced? I will bring this up to my surgeon in my next consult but would like some opinions and answers. thank you

Doctor Answers 6

Nostrils can be reduced.

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


The nostril shape and size can be reduced during rhinoplasty.  Many times the corrections can be performed with incisions inside the nostrils and therefore not visible.  However, for larger corrections, an incision is required outside the nose and in the crease that you so depict  in your photograph.  Occasionally, this incision can be visible.  Consequently, unless nostril reduction is an absolute, it may be delayed until after the final result is established and the need for undergoing a reduction is assessed at that time.

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Can the nostril be reduced in size?

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

An alar base reduction is a pretty common maneuver that is used to decrease wide, or flared nostrils. It is very important to be conservative when approaching this as you don't want to create an unnatural, or over-reduced nose.

Your surgeon should be able to better assess your nose to help you decide if addressing the nostrils during your surgery is advisable.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Nostril flare reduction, is it a good thing?

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

This is a frequent question, and it really take some time to answer fully.  My first advice is be very conservative with changing nostril flare, out of all the rhinoplasty maneuvers, nostril flare reduction has the greatest potential for providing an unnatural looking result.  Think Michael Jackson. (may he rest is peace.)

Many times if the the nasal bridge and tip are improved, the nostrils no longer seem so wide.  If even after improving the tip projection and nasal bridge, the nostrils seem wide, the nostril flare may be reduced.  It is very important not to remove so much that they don't curve.  If the nostrils are made to look straight, it could give you that celebrity nose and not in a good way.

Good luck in your search for information!

David C. Mabrie, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 156 reviews

Common, but be ware.

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

Alar base reduction, also called Weir excision, is appropriate when the ala extend beyond the medial canthus, or inner eye. Be careful, however, about air flow and about a pinched look.

Mark D. Wigod, MD
Boise Plastic Surgeon

Nostril narrowing with rhinoplasty

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

Dear Bethany,

The shape and size of nostrils can certainly be addressed during rhinoplasty. The name for these types of procedures is generally referred to as alar base reduction. Both the width and thickness of the nostril base can be changed. This does require incisions which leave a permanent fine scar, but if performed correctly they are very well-hidden and hardly noticeable most times. 

I wish you good luck with your upcoming procedure and a speedy recovery.

-Dr. Jamil Asaria, FACE Cosmetic Surgery

Jamil Asaria, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 139 reviews

Nostril reduction is very common in rhinoplasty

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

Nostril reduction is very common during rhinoplasty.  Discuss your concerns with your surgeon.  Best wishes.

Dr. Pippin

Gregory Pippin, MD
Metairie Facial 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.