What is Alarplasty?
Alarplasty or Nose Trimming is a surgical procedure that aims to narrow the span of nostrils and alar base. The nostril can be addressed with alar base reduction when the nostril is flared due to a wide nasal base.
The surgery is performed by cutting out a wedge-shaped piece from the outer base of each of your nostrils – narrowing is done with alar wedge excisions when the nasal base is not particularly wide but the nostrils are large and flare.
Are you a candidate for Alarplasty?
- Does your nose widen when you smile?
- Do you feel that the base of your nose is too wide?
- Are the wings of your nostrils too big & not in proportion to your face?
If you fall in any of the above categories, you could be a good candidate for alarplasty .
People who undergo alarplasty find that their nose is particularly wide when they smile so they tend to not smile at all or turn side way when taking photos to create the appearance of a smaller nose.
An alar base reduction can be used to reduce the size of the nostril and make it proportional to the nasal tip and the position of your eyes.
Often times, Alar reduction is commonly requested from people of ethnic backgrounds such as Africans, Asians, Indians and people from middle eastern origin. The skin is thicker and by bringing in the nostril base, the overall nose is in proportion with the rest of the face.
In some caucasian patients, alarplasty can be performed if hey have really large nostrils or the doctor can make the tip smaller and closer to the face which can make the nostrils appear wider.
Just in case you don’t know where the alar base is, see the below illustration:
How is alar base reduction surgery performed?
The technique used for alar base reduction depends on the shape of the nostrils and nasal proportion to the whole face however the ultimate goal is to make the nose look compatible with the rest of your facial features.
Alarplasty is done under local anesthesia and the surgery will take about an hour.
There are different incisions and techniques that can be used to narrow the alar base depending on the result that the client wants to achieve.
The incision, again depending on what you agree upon with your surgeon during the consultation, can be placed hidden inside the nostril, or outside, depending on the degree of flaring. During the procedure, the alar is manipulated to move closer to the base of the septum to narrow it down.
There are different incisions and techniques that can be used to narrow the alar base depending on the result that the client wants to achieve. You should speak to your surgeon and ask him all the options opened to you.
Although it seems like a simple procedure, alarplasty like other cosmetic procedures requires skill and needs to be meticulously done to avoid visible scars.
Before and after photos of Alarplasty/Alar base reduction:
Is there a scarless method for alar base reduction?
When you remove tissue in the case of alar base reduction, scarring does happen. This more prominent in patients who have darker skin and pigmentation is higher when the skin is wounded, resulting in scarring.
Scarring can be minimised when your doctor performs he incisions within the nostrils. In general alar base reduction surgery can be hidden in the shadow planes of the nose, just make sure that you have a surgeons who is well versed in alar base reduction that allows for perfect symmetry of your face and minimal scarring.
Alarplasty usually takes 1 hour surgery to perform and because it’s a minor surgery, downtime is minimal. You will experience swelling where the incision areas are but it will subside in a week or two.
After 7 days, sutures are removed from the incision site and wound cleaning is recommended based on doctor’s instructions.
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