Nowadays, there are many different types of nose surgeries available. Alar base reduction is a popular type of surgery for individuals who wish to decrease the size and appearance of their nostrils. Its main technique involves adjusting the width of the bottom portion of the nose. The results can improve nasal symmetry, reduce nostril size and achieve better facial harmony.

What is Alar Base Reduction Surgery?

Alar base reduction is also known as nostril reduction surgery or alarplasty. It’s for patients who have a broad alar base, which is the lower part of the nose.

The purpose of the procedure is to narrow the width of the nostril base, which decreases the size and flaring of the nostrils.  

Like other parts of the nose and face, the nostril size, flare, and shape really differ from person to person. Each patient is unique and has different goals. If your nostrils have been bothering you for a while, you might consider this type of procedure. 

Nostril Reduction Overview

At Harley Clinic, we receive many queries about what’s involved in nostril/alar base reduction surgery. Here’s a brief overview of what prospective patients can expect from this procedure:

  • Surgery Time: 1 hour
  • Anaesthetic: Local
  • Hospital Stay: Same day
  • Dressing and Garments: Stitches removed after 5-7 days
  • Time Off Work: 1-2 weeks
  • Exercise: 2-3 Weeks
  • Mobile: Immediately
  • Washing: After one day
  • Sleeping Position: sleep with head slightly elevated for two weeks
  • Full Recovery: 2-3 weeks

As previously mentioned, every patient is different, therefore some circumstances will also be different and dependent on the person. Your surgeon will be able to better guide you after a detailed consultation. 

Alar Base Reduction Technique

During nostril reduction surgery, your surgeon will use a local anaesthetic to numb the area. The procedure takes about an hour to perform. Your surgeon will make an incision where the nostril meets the cheek. Depending on the desired results, the incision may be rectangular, triangle or diamond-shaped. The incision will continue inside the nose as well. 

Next, a wedge of the nostril wall is removed, and the nostrils are brought inwards to sit in better balance with the face. The incision is then sewn up. Your surgeon will use sutures to reattach your nostril to the base of your nose. The procedure will be performed on both sides of the nose to achieve a balanced and symmetrical result. The scar will be hidden in the crease of the nose. Following the surgery, the nose will appear smaller and more narrow.  

Different incision techniques may be combined if your surgeon thinks it will yield the best result. The goal is to preserve a natural appearance at the base of the nose.

For patients who are getting a nostril reduction at the same time as traditional rhinoplasty, you will be fully sedated. Although you can perform an alar base reduction as a standalone procedure, often, it’s combined with open or closed rhinoplasties. 

Who Can Get Nostril Reduction Surgery?

If you are not happy with your nostrils, you may be suitable for alar base reduction surgery. You must pass certain criteria, such as:

  • Be in good health generally
  • Be a non-smoker
  • Have healed completely from previous surgical procedures in the area of your nose
  • Have realistic expectations for how a cosmetic procedure can change your appearance

Your specific nose shape, current or previous health conditions, and previous cosmetic surgeries will also help to determine whether you’re a good candidate for this procedure. A consultation with your plastic surgeon is the best way to find out if this procedure can help you achieve the results you’re looking for.

What are the Benefits of an Alar Base Reduction?

If you feel like your nostrils flare too much and the base of your nose is too wide, you may be suitable for alar base reduction surgery. There are several benefits of nostril reduction surgery, some of which include:

  • Natural results 
  • Minimal scarring 
  • Gives the appearance of a smaller nose 
  • Makes nostrils in proportion with facial features 
  • Reduces nostril flare
  • Less invasive than rhinoplasty
  • Mainly, alar base reduction surgery is great for boosting confidence, enabling the patient to take pride in their appearance. 

Alar base reduction before and after

What are the Risks of an Alar Base Reduction?

Like all surgeries, there are potential risks and complications to be aware of before you endure a nostril reduction procedure. Alar base reduction aims to change the shape of your nose using a small incision on the side of your nostril. It’s a relatively simple procedure, and it’s very normal to experience redness, swelling and some bleeding after your operation. 

However, in the weeks after your procedure, possible complications include:  

  • Scarring 
  • Infection 
  • Poor wound healing 
  • Discharge or pus from the site of surgery

Individual risks and results vary widely. To ensure the best possible outcome, consult a certified plastic surgeon, like the team at Harley Clinic.

How to Prepare for Nostril Reduction Surgery?

To prepare for an alar base reduction, it is essential that you stop the following two weeks before your surgery date:

  • Taking blood-thinning medication (Aspirin/Advil/Ibuprofen)
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking cigarettes/vapes

This is because such consumables may increase bleeding and prolong swelling. 

Alar Base Reduction Recovery Process

During the procedure, your surgeon will use both dissolvable and additional sutures. These stitches will be removed after 5-7 days following the surgery. 

Immediately following your treatment, it’s common to experience swelling, bruising, and redness. Swelling can continue for 1-2 weeks and should subside by week three.  

You can resume light fitness and day-to-day activities after two weeks. Most patients feel comfortable going out in public after two weeks. Once the scar is closed, you can start using makeup to cover the nose until the scar naturally fades over time. 

  • Post-operative recovery tips to maximise results and comfort include:
  • Don’t drink alcohol for two weeks after the surgery
  • Avoid salty foods for up to two weeks
  • Follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions
  • Keep the area clean as instructed
  • Elevate your head to reduce swelling
  • Do not sleep on your face – sleep on your back for two weeks, using two pillows for height and perhaps a travel pillow to keep you in position

When Will You See the Final Result?

You will notice the change in nostril size immediately, but the incision site will remain red and swollen for a couple of weeks. As the swelling continues to go down, you will see the final result after four weeks. This will continue to improve in appearance over several months post-surgery. 

Are Results Permanent?

After alar base reduction surgery, your new nostril size is completely permanent.

What to Expect From Alar Base Reduction Scars

The scars are small and positioned so they are well hidden. As there are a few different techniques you can use to perform this procedure, the scars can change slightly. When performed correctly, any scarring should be minimal, and will continue to heal over time.

Before and After Alar Base Reduction at The Harley Clinic

Nostril Reduction Patient Reviews at the Harley Clinic

Alar base surgery review at the Harley Clinic
Alar base reduction review, the Harley Clinic

Alar Base Reduction London

If you have large nostrils and find that they are out of proportion with your face, alar base reduction surgery could significantly change the balance of your face. By reducing the nostril size, your nose should appear smaller and more in line with the rest of your facial features.

At Harley Clinic, we are passionate about making our patients’ cosmetic dreams a reality. We pride ourselves on our safe, effective and patient-centred approach, with an extensive amount of positive patient reviews to back up our superb practice.

To book a consultation today, please call 0203 582 4947 or email contact@harleyclinic.com.

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