Everything you need to know about Alarplasty: Procedure, Cost and Recovery

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Everything you need to know about Alarplasty: Procedure, Cost and Recovery

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We were all born with different noses. Each nose is unique and if you have been lusting after the perfect nose of your favourite celebrity and want the same look then different types of rhinoplasties can help you achieve the ideal nose for your facial composition.

The idea of the ideal nose differs on various factors but it is a general consensus that the ideal nose has a small rounded tip, is straight and nostrils are in proportion to the overall size of the nose. An aesthetically pleasing nose is essential for good facial harmony. Most people are not born with such pleasing features. In some the nostrils are too wide or too small or simply asymmetrical and some are unhappy with the dorsal hump on the nose and for some the downward droop of the nose gives the face a sad and aged appearance.

The solution to all these problems is simple rhinoplasty procedures. If you too are bothered about the size and shape of your nostrils then Alarplasty rhinoplasty is the solution for you. It is an ideal procedure to improve the symmetry and contour the shape of your nose.

Alar stands for nostrils, which are the openings of nose canals and you are able to inhale or exhale through them. Ala is the rounded part of the nostrils. Plasty is a term given to surgical repair. Alarplasty reshapes your nostrils to the desired shape and size. Alarplasty is a very common and very popular cosmetic procedure and is also often called as Alar base rhinoplasty. It is a highly customizable procedure because no two people have the same nostril size and shape. Hence each patient has different goals and reasons for seeking nostril reduction surgery

What are the nostrils made of?

If you touch them, the nostrils seem quite soft and pliable. They are made of tissues which are fatty and fibrous. The size and flaring of your nostrils depend on this fibrous tissue. It can be thick, thin, tall or short depending on your face shape.


This procedure is done under general anaesthesia and the cosmetic surgeon removes or trips the fibrous tissue in the nostrils to give them a better shape and the base of the nose appears narrow. An Alarplasty is a good option for people who don’t have a crooked nose bridge. Alarplasty can help you with

  • Getting a better nose shape: This surgery changes the width of base of the nose and nostrils to give a narrow appearance to the nose shape.
  • Alter the nose size: it is often combined with rhinoplasty to subtly alter the nose size by correcting the nostril size
  • Correcting breathing issues
  • Improved overall look of the nose
  • Improved self esteem with the changes in your overall appearance.

Ideally the size and shape of the nostrils should be such that the width should fit in the inner corner of both eyes. If you draw an imaginary line from the inner corner of your eyes to the mouth the nostrils should fall between those lines.


What happens during Alarplasty consultation

If you have decided on some alar base reduction to modify the size of your nostrils then the first stage is finding good cosmetic or rhinoplasty surgeon who can align with your goals. The surgeon should have experience in preforming Alarplasty in the noses of your ethnicity and also have experience in different types of nose jobs so ensure symmetry.

Your surgeon will talk to you about your expectations and explain to you about the changes Alarplasty will bring in your features. He will also take the necessary measurements of the face and nose to determine how much reduction or correction is needed to get the desired results. The things to consider include

  • The current proportions of the nose with respect to the face
  • The flare of the nostrils at rest and during movement
  • Whether the width of the nostrils fall between the space in the eyes
  • Overall facial harmony and balance
  • Thickness of the skin and tissue
  • Ethnic characteristics
  • The strength and position of nasal cartilages

A good cosmetic surgeon will have the tools to show you the results of Alarplasty using computer imaging software. Proper planning is the key to a successful Alarplasty surgery and it is important that your surgeon has an in-dept knowledge of facial contours and proportions.

What happens in Alarplasty?

The whole surgery is done in the clinic and takes about one hour to complete. There will be little soreness in your nose and face post-surgery and it is suggested you take a day or two off from work to recovery and recoup.

  • Alarplasty is done under anaesthesia so you will not feel any pain during the surgery and you are required to lie still during the procedure
  • The surgeon will mark your nose with a pen to visualize the incisions.
  • There are three main incision techniques used perform the Alarplasty. The choice of the technique depends on whether there are other rhinoplasty procedures combined with this surgery.
    • The first is the weir technique and it is the most common one too. In this process the incision is made at the curve of the nostril and contours are created with the help of sutures.
    • Wedge excision is used to reduce the extra nasal flare by removing the extra flesh in the lower part of the nose. The natural curve at the base of the nose is kept intact and nostril size is also not reduced.
    • Sill incision method is used to reduce the nostril size and the cuts are made on the inside of the nose.

The three techniques can be combined with each other to get different results.

  • Once the surgeon is satisfied with the reduction, he will use sutures to reinforce the new shape of the alar.
  • Bandages are placed on to secure the incisions and prevent injury. These might stay put for many days till the time the wound heals completely.

There is some scaring post the surgery but the excision techniques ensure that the scaring is hardly visible and usually dissolvable stiches are used which don’t leave very visible marks. This also reduces the recovery time.  Alarplasty is done in such a way that there is not hinderance in the normal breathing process or any other functions of the nose.

Who is a good candidate for Alarplasty?

A person in good health and who is free of pre-existing health conditions is a good candidate for alar base rhinoplasty. it does not change the shape of the nose but just works on the nostrils. Other conditions you need to fill in to be suitable for Alarplasty include

  • You do not have problems with internal functions of your nose
  • The insides of your nostrils are visible when you are smiling or laughing or talking to somebody
  • You have too wide or narrow nostrils which make your conscious about your appearance.
  • You are a non-smoker or are willing to give up on smoking several weeks before and after the surgical procedure.

Recovery post Alarplasty

The recovery time is about one to three months. the stiches usually dissolve in one week to ten days and the swelling will go down in two weeks. Normal everyday work can be resumed in just 48 hours. You should not feel much discomfort with the normal function of the nose.

Avoid doing strenuous activities during the recovery time and keep the nose protected to let it heal fully. Keep up with a good skin care routine and avoid nicotine products at all costs. Take good care of your body and avoid unhealthy food. Keep away from things that can cause irritation in the nostrils or cause cold and sneezing. Use a sunscreen every time you go out.

Alarplasty cost

Alarplasty is a cosmetic procedure that aims to refine the size of the nostrils to better suit the facial features. The cost of Alarplasty in India varies by many factors such as the surgeon’s expertise, location of the clinic, and the scope of the surgery. For example, Alarplasty cost in Mumbai will be significantly higher than the cost of the same surgery in a small town in middle India. Surgeon’s expertise is the most important thing to consider. A highly experienced surgeon (which should be the obvious choice) may charge more. Choosing the best surgeon for Alarplasty leads to better results and reduced risks and side effects.

For patients seeking only minor reduction of nostrils the cost of Alarplasty will be lower than that for a patient requiring extensive reduction and tip modifications. When discussing about price of Alarplasty with your surgeon make sure you ask them to factor in any additional fees such as cost of anaesthesia, clinic fees and post operative care cost etc.

Your insurance also might not cover the cost of Alarplasty and therefore it is necessary that you do a proper research and consider all the factors before confirming for a surgery.

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About Dr. Debraj Shome

Dr. Debraj Shome- Facial Plastic Surgeon in Mumbai, India

Dr. Debraj Shome – Founder, The Esthetic Clinics, is a top facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Shome is currently a Consultant at the best Mumbai hospitals like Saifee Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital, Nanavati Hospital & Apollo Spectra Hospital in Mumbai, India. He has 40+ research papers in the best international journals, numerous presentations at conferences & many awards such as “Best Plastic Surgeon in Mumbai”, “Best Plastic Surgeon in India”, Best Cosmetic Surgeon in India”, “Best Cosmetic Surgeon in Mumbai”, “Breakthrough Innovator in Facial Plastic Surgery” etc. A celebrity plastic surgeon, Dr. Shome believes plastic, reconstructive & cosmetic face surgery can allow you to lead a more fulfilled life….Read more

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