When Can I Smile Big Again After ALAR Retraction Procedure?

Hi, I am an Asian, from (Philippines), I had ear cartilage rhinoplasty for dorsum, tip plasty and alarplasty, 2 weeks ago. It looks so natural because I did not ask for high bridge... just better lower half and tip of the nose. Alars look natural and narrower EXCEPT i can not smile big again which was my biggest asset before. it hurts so much when i laugh.Is it possible to request to cut some dissolvable suture under the nose that pulls the alar together so I can smile like before? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 4

Smiling Hurts After Rhinoplasty

Dear Larry,

Congratulations on your results; if you are satisfied then things are going well.

At 2 weeks post-op, what you are experiencing may be pretty much normal but could not be confirmed as such without a physical examination. Knowing the full details of your surgery is an essential point.

I encourage you to have a little more patient and to try to get a hold of your surgeon and communicate with him/her explaining your issue as they may be the only ones with the full details of your surgery. It is likely that your smile and facial movements will be established soon.

I hope this helps and the best of luck to you.

Dr. Sajjadian

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews


First: Ask your surgeon this question.  However, about six weeks is a common number for initial nasal healing, for routine activities.  Stay Happy!

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Give some time to heal after Rhinoplasty and Alarplasty


Dear Larry, you are in the early stages of recovery from some extensive surgery and it is not uncommon to feel like your smile is unnatural and not the way it used it be. Swelling in the nose takes sometime to dissipate and while smiling should not cause you excessive pain keep your laughing and muscular movements to a minimum especially if causing discomfort. Your natural smiling and muscular movement should slowly come back to normal so have patience. Any concerns you have in the interim should be brought up to your surgeon so you may keep your mind at ease. Wishing you a speedy recovery full of laughs and smiles soon! Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Alar surgery issue

It is quite common to be stiff and have pain with smiling after nasal surgery. Overtime as things settle down and the selling dissipates, it should get better.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 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.