11th Jul 2024

Alar Base Reduction: Harmony with Nostril Contouring and Nostril Reduction

Alar base reduction is a surgical procedure to narrow the nostrils, promoting nose symmetry and facial balance. It arises when a person is unhappy with their nostril shape: this could be due to nasal flaring, wide or flared nostrils or nostril asymmetry.

We explain the technique, the benefits, risks, why the experience of the plastic surgeon is important and the recovery period required. This will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of nostril reduction surgery and alar redcution.

Main Points

  • Alar base reduction surgery or alarplasty is a cosmetic procedure that adjusts the shape and size of the nostrils to enhance facial harmony and can also improve nasal airflow for breathing.

  • The surgery involves surgical techniques such as alar wedge excision, nasal sill excision, and V-Y advancement to achieve the desired nostril contours and a natural appearance.

  • Pre-surgery preparation, selecting an expert surgeon, and following strict post-operative care are crucial for minimising risks, reducing recovery time, and achieving best results.

Understanding Alar Base Reduction

Nostril reduction surgery, also known as alarplasty surgery or alar reduction, is a procedure designed to fine-tune the balance in the nasal area. It targets the alae — the outer edges of the nostrils — shaping them to complement the rest of your face.

Whether you’re seeking to refine a broad alar base or undergo alarplasty in the UK, Kensington Medical and our team of experienced nose surgeons can help you achieve nostril refinement.

What is Alar Base Reduction?

Alar base reduction surgery, part of the rhinoplasty procedure group, focuses on the nostrils’ size and shape to achieve a more pleasing nasal appearance. This cosmetic procedure involves strategic alar base resections, effectively narrowing the nasal base and addressing any alar flaring.

The result? A nose that sits in perfect proportion to your other facial features, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your face.

Steps of an Alarplasty Procedure

Benefits of Nostril Reduction Surgery

  1. Aesthetic proportions of the nose and face
  2. Functional benefits. By reshaping the nostril wall, it can improve nasal airflow and can ease breathing difficulties
  3. For those who have experienced previous surgeries or facial trauma, alar base reduction can restore symmetry

Nostril Reshaping Techniques

Nostril reshaping, also known as nostril surgery, is a subtle art that demands precision and an intimate understanding of nose procedures. Surgeons employ an array of incisions to achieve nostril reshaping a type of nose surgery. These incisions include wedge, sill, and Weir excisions, each specific to the individual’s nasal structure. It’s a delicate balancing act to achieve the perfect contour without compromising the natural look of the nasal base.

Alar Wedge Excision

Among the techniques at a surgeon’s disposal, alar wedge excision is pivotal for addressing alar flaring and refining the nostril’s silhouette. This method not only trims the alar lobule’s size but also reshapes it, thus rectifying any excessive flare.

The incisions are carefully camouflaged within the natural alar crease, leaving behind a more aesthetically pleasing frontal view of the nose.

Nasal Sill Excision

In cases where the goal is nostril reduction, specifically to reduce the nostril’s width, nasal sill excision is the technique of choice. By making strategic cuts, surgeons can decrease the interalar distance and the size of the nostril sill. This, in turn, minimises the overall nostril size, contributing to a narrower and more refined nasal base that aligns gracefully with the rest of the face.

V-Y Advancement

V-Y advancement offers a tissue-conserving approach to nostril reshaping. Without removing any tissue, this technique involves a V-shaped incision that’s expertly closed into a Y-shape. The result is a subtle yet significant refinement of the nostril’s shape, contributing to a harmonious nasal appearance without the need for extensive tissue removal.

Preparing for Your Alar Base Reduction Surgery

Ideal candidates will be in good health and have realistic expectations. During your initial and second consultation our plastic surgeons will discuss your medical history. Being ready for surgery is key: discussion about blood-thinners, alcohol, and smoking is covered to minimise risks and ensure the best possible recovery and outcome.

The Surgical Procedure

Generally local anesthesia with sedation is the chosen method. This ensures a pain-free experience during the alar base reduction surgery, or nostril reduction procedure. If the surgeon feels it will be of benefits to the patient they might suggest a general anaesthetic, although that would usually mean that other rhinoplasty surgery such as dorsal hump removal was taking place. The procedure lasts about an hour. Incisions are discreetly placed, tissue is removed or moved, and the nostrils are meticulously reshaped.

Dissolvable sutures are then applied, concealed within the natural contours of your nose.

Recovery and Post Operative Care

Following post operative care to achieve a good recovery is important. You can expect some swelling and bruising and this forms part of the initial recovery phase. At Kensington Medical we provide a comprehensive post operative pack to ensure you feel confident before the surgery. This may include information such as avoiding certain foods, keeping the surgical area clean, what you can and can't do, how to sleep. Generally you can expect to resume your normal activities within a couple of weeks.

Being patient is key; you should see a clearer result in a month as the swelling continues to subside.

Potential Risks and Complications

All surgical procedures carry some level of risk, and alar base reduction, a type of alar base surgery, is no different. Scarring, infection, and possible breathing difficulties are among the potential complications. However, selecting an experienced surgeon significantly reduces these risks, ensuring a safe and successful outcome.

Aftercare also plays a critical role in minimising scarring and ensuring a smooth and speedy recovery.

Before and After Photos

During your Kensington Medical consultation your surgeon will show you before and after photos of alar base reduction surgery, showing improvement in nostril size, nostril shape and facial balance. These images capture the dramatic improvements in facial balance and nostril size, offering a realistic preview of the procedure’s potential.

Alarplasty Before and After

The Cost of Alar Base Reduction: Factors and Considerations

Investing in alar reduction surgery, also known as alar base reduction surgery, is to invest in yourself. At Kensington Medical alar base reduction surgery costs from £2,300. Several factors can influence the nostril reduction price. The surgeon’s expertise, hospital and anaesthetist fees, and the extent of the procedure will affect the price of an alar base reduction.

Combining Alar Base Reduction with Other Rhinoplasty Procedures

For those seeking a more comprehensive nose job involving nose reshaping, alar base reduction can be harmoniously combined with other rhinoplasty procedures. Whether it’s refining the nasal tip, straightening a dorsal hump or correcting a deviated septum, integrating alarplasty with additional surgeries is possible.

Full sedation and general anaesthesia will be required for a nasal contouring procedure with open or closed rhinoplasty.


Alar base reduction surgery is a highly successful procedure. With careful planning with your plastic and the Kensington Medical team you are one step closer to facial harmony. If you have any questions please get in touch with us today and we will do out best to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the decision to undergo alar base reduction surgery comes with many questions. Will the results look natural? How much will it cost? What benefits can I expect? These are all valid queries, and we’re here to provide the answers, ensuring you’re well-informed and confident in your journey towards facial refinement.

Yes, alar base reduction can look natural when the nostrils are in proportion with the patient's other facial features. The nostril reduction scar will be hidden in the crease of the nose, and the nose will appear smaller and narrower.

After alar base reduction surgery, you can resume normal activities the day after the procedure and commence light exercises after 2 weeks, but full recovery can take 1 to 3 months. It's essential to avoid straining the incision site and wait for a few months for complete recovery.

Alar base reduction is not painful. If you have a combined rhinoplasty it made have greater discomfort however appropriate pain relief will be provided after the nose operation. If done by itself, it can be performed under local anesthesia and does not require postoperative pain medication.

The alar base is a complex three-dimensional shape, with intimate relationships with the medial cheek, nostril, columella, and upper lip. It is typically composed of fibrofatty tissues and can vary in shapes and sizes.

The cost of alar base reduction surgery at Kensington Medical starts from £2,300.

Nostril reduction surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic and is a successful procedure with minimal risks.

There are no non-surgical treatments that can create the result from an alar base reduction. Dermal filler can modify the tip of a nose or the nasal bridge to straighten the nose, it can't create smaller nostrils.

Following alarplasty scars are formed. However the careful placement of the scars in the natural contours or folds of the nostrils helps to conceal the scars and should ensure scars are kept to a minimum. At Kensington Medical our nose surgeons have decades of experience and will ensure great surgical outcome.