Last updated date: 15-May-2023
Originally Written in English
Alarplasty can also be referred to as alar reduction surgery or nostril reduction. It’s a surgical procedure to change only the shape and the width of the nostrils. This procedure is mainly sought by people who wish to change the appearance of the nostril to make it perfect. Moreover, the Alarplasty process can either be done alone or alongside rhinoplasty. Unlike Alarplasty, rhinoplasty is a surgery to change the shape of the entire nose.
Although the nose may seem like a small, minor part of the body, it usually defines the overall facial balance. However, some people have either small or large noses with varying shapes and sizes. In such situations, an Alarplasty procedure might be the best option to correct nostril symmetry.
The wings of your nose, also known as the alar (plural alae), are the fleshy section of the nose that links the nostrils to the face. Their form and structure have a significant impact on the contour of your lower nose and, as a result, the shape of your overall face. The frontal view of your face is heavily influenced by the definition and shape of your nostrils. Not only that, but the length of the alae on both sides also contributes to the appearance of symmetry in the face.
The balance of your face is determined by your nose. The ideal nose is straight, with a fine round tip and nostrils that are the appropriate size in comparison to the rest of the nose. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have such a nose, particularly those with fleshy, broad, or too tiny nostrils in a variety of shapes and sizes. Alarplasty, a surgical treatment for defining and restoring the symmetry of the nostrils, maybe the solution.
The operation is an excellent approach to minimize the size of your nostrils, restore facial equilibrium, and feel more confident while interacting with others. The Alarplasty or Alar Base Reduction to reduce broad nostrils is worth your time and money because it is reasonably inexpensive and has a rapid recovery time.
Benefits of Alarplasty
When built to complement your other features, a well-shaped nose produces face harmony and balance. Others notice your face and automatically think it's attractive. In a simple, quick surgical treatment, an Alarplasty establishes face harmony and can substantially enhance your look. You will not feel any discomfort throughout the treatment because it is conducted under a local anesthetic.
The cartilage will be removed from each nostril, resulting in a thinner foundation to the nose's structure. Soft tissue will be excised in excess. After sculpting the new nasal structure, the incision will be closed with stitches and the region wrapped to protect the new structure and expedite recovery.
For individuals who are not contented with the shape and size of the nostrils, considering Alarplasty over other reshaping surgeries might be the best alternative. This is mainly because the Alarplasty procedure is a less invasive type of surgery and involves a shorter recovery period.
Other benefits of opting for Alarplasty include;
- A perfect and well-balanced facial feature
- Better symmetric or matching nostrils
- Adjustments of the size and width of the nostrils
In general, most people who often opt for Alarplasty feel that their nose is not perfect enough. Some also think that their nose is characterized by a flared look or the nostril appears conspicuous and too open.
Although there are several facial correction procedures, Alarplasty is a suitable option, especially if you wish to adjust the nostrils. The process will involve carving out a small section of the alae to change to the initial broad appearance of the nose. The alae refer to the fleshy areas of the nose that usually link the nostrils to the face. Based on the natural facial shape, the alae can be thin, thick, short, or tall.
The alae determine the shape, size, and structure of the nose. In most cases, it’s the part that surgeons often carve out and adjust to give you an ideal appearance.
What cosmetic problems does an Alarplasty procedure treat?
- Nose Shape: Adjustments to the base of the nose and nostrils allow for a narrower nose shape.
- Nose Size: By lowering the size of the nostrils, the base of the nose becomes smaller and thinner.
- Cosmetic Breathing problems: When combined with a rhinoplasty or performed alone, the surgery can correct the symmetry and size of the nostrils.
Ideal Candidates for Alarplasty
Generally, Alarplasty doesn’t change facial appearance. Instead, it only aims at enhancing a small section of the nose. Even after the procedure, most people won’t notice the changes on the face. However, they can only see how good and attractive you look. Alarplasty is basically a minor esthetic procedure that helps improve nostril aesthetics.
Although every person with nose defects might want to consider undergoing an Alarplasty procedure, not everyone is eligible. However, you might be an ideal candidate for the course if;
- You have flared nostrils as a result of your genetics
- You are not a smoker and in good health
- Your nostrils are either too narrow or too wide in proportion to all other features of the face
- One of the nostrils vary in shape and size as compared to the other
- Your nostrils look large or wider whenever you smile
- Are not happy or contented with the overall look of the nostrils
Alarplasty is also suitable for individuals who have recently undergone rhinoplasty, and for people who have had traumatic facial injuries.
Alarplasty can be performed on people as young as 15 years old, depending on the surgeon. Younger patients with significant nasal blockages are exempt.
Alarplasty recovery is typically rapid, which is one of the procedure's main advantages. Local anesthetic is employed, making the patient's recovery speedier and more comfortable.
Alarplasty VS Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is a type of facial reconstructive surgery that is performed to fix exterior or interior nasal structural flaws. It is a wide term that encompasses a variety of surgical operations, such as a cosmetic nose job to remove a hump on the bridge of the nose, fix a drooping or bulbous nose tip, or restore breathing function by addressing internal nasal structures, such as repairing a deviated septum.
Alarplasty is a subcategory of rhinoplasty treatments. It can be done alone or as part of a larger rhinoplasty operation. While rhinoplasty can alter the structure and look of the entire nose, Alarplasty simply alters the width and shape of the nostrils.
Because it is a less invasive operation, Alarplasty is less expensive than rhinoplasty. Alarplasty can take up to an hour, whereas rhinoplasty might take up to 3-4 hours. An Alarplasty may be performed with local anesthesia, although rhinoplasty is often performed under general anesthesia.
Alarplasty Incision Methods
Typically, Alarplasty involves the removal of a small section of the skin from the nasal wing. In most cases, the outcome of the procedure is a narrow-looking alar base. Therefore, the common incision methods that surgeons often use when performing Alarplasty include;
This type of incision involves reducing nose flaring. This can be done by extracting the alar wedges or the curved fleshy lower region of the nose that connects to the cheek. In addition, wedge incisions are usually created externally to avoid narrowing the nostril.
This excision method is an enhancement of the wedge incision technique. The Weir technique modifies the excision to help align with the nostril curve and uses the stitches to make nasal contours.
Surgeons use this technique to narrow down the alar base or the areas where it connects to the cheek. It also aims at reducing the overall width of the nose. Sill excision typically involves the creation of the incision inside the nose. Besides, surgeons can use this procedure alongside the wedge method to minimize alar flare as well as narrow down the nostrils.
It is vital to note that various incision methods are frequently used in conjunction with one another to improve the overall outcome of the surgery. Sutures will be used to seal the wounds once the first incisions have been made and the surplus alar tissue has been removed. This finishes your Alarplasty operation.
How to Prepare for Alarplasty Procedure?
The consultation is the first stage in your Alarplasty journey, and it involves meeting with your surgeon to be examined to confirm that you satisfy the procedure's eligibility requirements.
Before the scheduled date of the procedure, the surgeon usually provides a few guidelines to help you prepare in advance. For instance, you may be required to;
- Refrain from taking medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, high doses of vitamins, and herbal medicines. Depending on the surgery, the doctor can ask you to refrain for a few days or weeks before the surgery. This is to prevent risks of complications during or after the operation.
- Stop smoking or taking alcohol for at least one or two weeks before and after the Alarplasty surgery.
- Ensure that you get enough sleep before the scheduled day of the operation.
- Avoid applying any makeup, lotion, or cream on the face, which may interfere with the surgery.
- Put on a loose and comfortable outfit and a shirt that buttons in the front.
- Before entering the surgery room, make sure that you remove the nail polish and put away all the jewelry.
What to Expect During Alarplasty Procedure?
The steps and procedures of Alarplasty are usually similar to those of rhinoplasty. However, Alarplasty surgical procedure is less invasive. Therefore, before undergoing the procedure, ensure that you talk with your doctor regarding the procedure and what to expect. This is because the process can vary from one person to another, depending on the objectives and the nostril defect. Besides, this will also help you prepare in advance for the scheduled surgery.
This delicate operation to narrow and restructure the nostrils may be completed in less than an hour under local anesthetic. Alarplasty is performed as an outpatient operation, and patients are discharged home following the procedure.
Overall, you should expect the following during the Alarplasty procedure;
- A lengthy discussion with the surgeon about the entire surgical procedure. The surgeon can also mark the nose using a special surgical pen to make the incision more visible.
- Administration of anesthesia, either general or topical, before the surgery. The type of anesthesia usually depends on the nature of the surgery, overall health, and the patient’s or surgeon’s preference.
- Creating small incisions or cuts on the marked areas. They will cut out a small part of the nose that affects the entire nasal shape or size.
- Stitching up the incisions to help strengthen the new shape and size of the alar base. This also helps prevent bleeding and infections.
- Dressing up of the wound using bandages. If necessary, the doctor will administer pain-relieving drugs and guidelines to prevent infection on the surgical site.
Is Alarplasty painful?
Alarplasty is a pain-free procedure. To keep you comfortable throughout your alar base reduction, you will be given either an anesthetic or a mix of anesthetic and sedative. Following the surgery, your surgeon may either deliver a local, long-term pain medication (lasting for up to 72 hours) or prescription pain medicines.
What to Expect After the Procedure and Recovery?
Alarplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis; hence you can return home on the same day after the procedure. You may be required to wear the bandage for a few days to facilitate the healing process. Usually, the recovery period for Alarplasty is shorter, unlike other types of facial surgical procedures.
During the recovery period, the nose is usually swollen and red; however, this will recede after one or two weeks. During this stage, you should avoid touching or regularly blowing your nose as this can interfere with the healing process.
- Alarplasty recovery period is generally between 1-2 weeks. The majority of the swelling and bruising will go away during this period.
- You can resume your normal activities 24 to 48 hours following the procedure.
- Any sutures that are not self-dissolving will be removed after the first week of recuperation.
- Patients will have a tiny, hardly noticeable crease where the cheek meets the nostril, but with proper scar care, the crease will go away with time.
Standard pain relievers, antibiotics, anti-swelling medicine, and topical antibacterial ointment will be administered to post-procedure patients. Scar ointments and whitening lotions may also be recommended to aid in the healing process. Some people may benefit from laser treatment.
After a week or as advised by the physician, you should return to the hospital to have the stitches removed. The physician will also assess the nose, check the healing progress and any sign of infection. You should, however, note that total recovery can take an average of one to three months.
Minimizing Scars After Alarplasty
Despite being partially vulnerable to the natural aging process, nostril reduction surgery is thought to be permanent. Alar reduction surgery is permanent and irreversible. If you are unhappy with the narrowing of your nostrils, revisional surgery might be performed to improve it. However, you should be aware of the extreme scarring and incorrect nostril contouring that may occur as a result of the procedure.
To minimize scars after Alarplasty, you should:
- Take care of your mind and body by avoiding an unhealthy diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.
- Excessive nasal movement in the days following nostril reduction surgery might have a negative impact on your healing and scar.
- Maintain a clean and well-moisturized scar.
- Make use of silicone-based scar cream.
- Avoid exposing the scar to direct sunlight.
Alarplasty before and after
Complications of Alarplasty
Alarplasty is generally considered a safe procedure. Hence it doesn’t involve any major risk or complications. But like any other type of surgical operation, an Alarplasty approach can carry a particular degree of risks and complications.
Immediately after the surgery, it’s normal to notice some bleeding from the surgical site, redness, and swelling of the nose. Other potential complications that might arise after several weeks of the surgery include;
- Nostril asymmetry after the procedure
- Scarring as a result of skin breakdown
- Pain on the surgical site or sometimes the whole nose
- Numbness or tingling due to nerve damage
- Separation of the surgical wound which might require an additional operation
- Negative reactions to anesthesia
- Infection on the surgical wound, which can cause abnormal scarring
- Discharge or oozing of pus from the area of surgery
- Because each patient is unique, the costs vary. Following your initial appointment, you will be given a pricing quotation. This will include a surgeon's charge, an anesthetist's price, and sometimes a surgical assistant's fee, as well as hospital fees.
- The cost of an Alarplasty in the United States might vary greatly depending on where you reside and if you have insurance.
- Because it is a less complicated treatment, an Alarplasty is typically less costly than a standard rhinoplasty. Many Alarplasty operations range in price between $2,000 and $3,000.
Alarplasty, also known as alar trimming, and alar or nostril reduction surgery is a plastic surgery treatment that involves removing a wedge of the nose's wing in order to change the form of the nostrils. The primary objective of the Alarplasty procedure involves modification of the shape and size of the nose. Surgeons usually perform the procedure on an outpatient basis and under local anesthesia through an incision made in the side of the nostril. It is generally a safe and simple operation, but may still carry minor risks of complications. However, by finding a professional and skilled facial plastic surgeon, you can avoid such associated side effects.