Wide nasal alae and flaring of the nostrils make the nose appear wide and broad and affect the nose’s aesthetics. Alarplasty, also known as alar base reduction, is a minor surgery done to reduce the nasal alae’s width and narrow the nostrils. The aims are to make the nasal alae and the nostrils narrower. The overall effect is the nose will appear slimmer and more elegant. The procedure involves resection of a rim of tissues from the alar base and the adjacent nasal floor. An alternative option of alarplasty is the stitching method that brings the nasal alae nearer to each other without tissue resection.


Alarplasty may be performed as a standalone procedure or combined with other rhinoplasty procedures to create an aesthetically balanced and refined nose.





      1. Inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions and drug allergy. All medical conditions must be treated and stabilized before surgery.
      2. Stop smoking at least one week before surgery. Smoking is harmful to wound healing and increases the risks of other post-operation complications.
      3. Stop the following medications and supplements from one week before surgery until one week after surgery.
        1. All supplements containing vitamin E, ginseng, ginkgo, garlic, fish oil, and other ingredients that increase bleeding during the procedure. Other supplements, traditional medicine, and herbs, in which ingredients are unknown, have to stop as well.
        2. Medicine that increases bleeding during the procedure such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and warfarin. However, you may need to consult your physician who prescribed the medication before you stop them.
      4. On the day of surgery, wear simple and comfortable clothing. Do not wear any makeup. Do not wear any jewelry and metal objects on the face and body.





Duration: One hour

Anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia

Hospitalization: Not required.

Recovery*: Back to work in 3 days, light exercise after one week, heavy exercise after 3-4 weeks. * The actual speed of recovery may vary from person to person.

Surgery Technique:

      1. Resection Method: The surgeon makes an incision along the alar base extending into the nostril floor, and removes a sliver of the nasal skin. The nasal ala is repositioned inward and fixed to reduce the width of the nose and nostrils. The scar along the alar groove is inconspicuous.
      2. Stitch Method: Suture is inserted to engage the skin at the alar base on both sides. The suture is tightened to bring the nasal alae together to narrow the nostrils and nose width. External wounds are minimal.




Post-operative Care**

      1. What to expect: Swelling usually peaks on the second to third day after surgery and will gradually subside after that. Post-operative pain is usually minimal.
      2. General care:
        1. Apply the cold pack in the first 3 days. Elevate the head during sleep to reduce swelling.
        2. Avoid smoking for at least one month. Smoking increases the risk of wound complications.
        3. Good rest and adequate sleep are helpful for a speedy recovery.
        4. Avoid applying pressure on the nose.
        5. Do not pick the nostrils with a finger. Instead, use a cotton tip to clean the nose.
        6. Be relaxed and calm. Contact the clinic if there are any queries.
      3. Medicine: Finish the oral antibiotics as prescribed. Take the painkiller as when necessary.
      4. Wound care: Clean the wound with a clean cotton tip soaked with sterile water/saline. Apply antibiotic ointment.
      5. Physical activity: Avoid heavy physical activity and exercise for at least one month.
      6. Follow-up: Come back one week after surgery for suture removal and review.
      7. Emergency: If there is heavy bleeding, a rapid increase in swelling or severe pain, contact the clinic/doctor for advice immediately.


** The instructions in this list are only for general guidance. If you have any specific queries or concerns during the post-operative recovery, please contact the clinic for further advice.

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