What is an Alarplasty Procedure?
Alarplasty, Alaplasty or Ala Surgery is a surgical procedure performed with the purpose of reducing wide flaring nostrils by removing a small amount of nasal tissue from the wings of the nose. Also known as the alar base reduction procedure, this procedure improves the appearance of your nostrils and enhances the natural aesthetics of your nose.
The wings of your nose or the alar (alae plural) are the fleshy part of your nose that connects the nostrils to the face. Their shape and structure contribute significantly to the shape of the lower nose and hence, the shape of your entire face. The frontal view of your face strongly depends on the definition and shape of the nostrils. Not just that, the length of alae on both sides also plays an important role in making the face look more symmetrical.
And physical appearance has a crucial role to play in how one is perceived in social and personal settings. This is why alae are considered to be so important and given their importance, it makes sense to undergo an alarplasty surgery to improve the appearance of the wings of your nose and improve the symmetry and definition of your face.
Alarplasty at a glance
Target area: Ala cartilages (wide nostrils)
Time off work: 1-2 weeks
Total recovery: 6-weeks
Scar position: In the crease of the nose, where the nose meets the cheeks
Am I a Good Candidate for an Alarplasty Procedure?
Alarplasty surgery is a great option for those who are unhappy with the appearance of their nostrils and want to change it. However, there are certain criteria you need to fulfil before you can be even considered for the procedure. You may be eligible for an alarplasty surgery if:
- You have flared nostrils as a result of your genetics
- You have flared nostrils due to an accident involving your nose
- You underwent rhinoplasty or other nasal surgeries in the past
- You have completely healed from previous surgeries and traumatic incidents
- You are bothered by the appearance of the nostrils
- The appearance of the nostrils is affecting your mental health and self-image
- You are physically and mentally healthy
- You are a non-smoker
- You are undergoing the procedure for yourself
- You have realistic expectations and goals from the procedure
Book a consultation now and find out if you meet the necessary criteria to undergo an alarplasty procedure.
Download the Rhinoplasty Surgery Guide
Benefits of the Alarplasty Procedure
Having flared nostrils can make them quite a prominent feature of your face and not necessarily for the good. This affects your overall facial aesthetics and can become a mental and physical burden. Wide nostrils can impact your self-image and can affect your personal and social relationships.
Undergoing the alarplasty or alar base reduction procedure can fix the shape of the nostrils so they don’t appear flared all the time. Moreover, the procedure also reduces the size of your nostrils significantly resulting in enhance nasal and facial appearance. The reduction in size and improvement of the shape of the nose further improve facial aesthetics by making the face more symmetrical.
Book a consultation with specialist plastic surgeon, Dr Mark Doyle to find out more about the procedure and the specific benefits it may have for you.
Steps of an Alarplasty Procedure
Alarplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure but is not as invasive as a traditional rhinoplasty procedure. Alaplasty procedure is, more often than not, performed along with other procedures like a traditional nose job or rhinoplasty procedure. You can find out more about the procedure in detail during your initial consultation with Dr Doyle.
An alarplasty procedure, if performed as the only procedure, can take approximately thirty minutes. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia at John Flynn Private Hospital. It is an outpatient procedure and you can go back home the same day.
The procedure for alarplasty begins with the surgeon marking the wings of your nose with a pen to visualise where the incisions will be and how much nasal tissue will be excised or removed. Your surgeon will discuss your ideal nose shape and size with you prior to the surgery to have a better understanding.
Once you have been anesthetised and are ready for the surgery to begin, your surgeon will use one of the following techniques for the first incision, depending on the extent of the changes required:
1. Wedge Technique
For this technique, the first incision will be along the natural crease of the curvy part of your nose where it meets the cheek. Your surgeon will then remove the excess tissue from the wing of your nose in the shape of a wedge. This technique works on the curvy part of the wings of your nose and reduces their size but doesn’t have any effect on the size of the nostril.
2. Sill Technique
This technique focuses on reducing the size of the base of the alar by making incisions in the inside of the nose. The sill technique allows the surgeon to remove excess tissue to make the alar base smaller and reduce the width of your nostrils. The internal incisions ensure that there is no visible scarring.
It is important to note that these incision techniques are often used along with one another to enhance the end result of the surgery. After the initial incisions have been made and the excess alar tissue has been removed, your surgeon will then close the incisions with sutures. This marks the end of your alarplasty procedure.
Recovery from Alarplasty Procedure
Recovery from an alarplasty procedure is usually quick and most patients are back to work in under a week.
After your alarplasty procedure, you may notice some swelling and bruising. This will resolve spontaneously within the first week. Dr Doyle will prescribe you medication to help with any pain and discomfort that may be present.
It is important that you refrain from smoking during the recovery period as it may complicate the healing process or result in an infection, both of which can negatively affect the overall results of the procedure. Similarly, you should abstain from drinking alcohol, especially when taking pain management medications to avoid any complications of the procedure.
During the recovery period, you should avoid any form of strenuous activities that may put pressure on the incisions and complicate the wound healing process resulting in uneven or raised scarring. Dr Doyle will let you know when you can resume doing your daily life activities according to your specific case.
Although the recovery period is short, the results of the surgery may keep on appearing for up to a year after the surgery. As the contours settle in and the shape and size of the nose change, the aesthetics of the nose will keep on improving.
Risks and Complications of Alarplasty Procedure
The alarplasty procedure is a surgical procedure, and just like any other surgical procedure, there are certain risks and complications associated with the procedure. Some of the possible side-effects include:
- Infection at the site of the surgery
- Drainage or pus oozing from the incisions
- Bruising and discolouration of the nasal skin
- Side effects of anaesthesia
- Visible and prominent scarring
- Numbness of nasal skin, although temporary
- Nasal asymmetry
- Structural disturbances resulting in breathing difficulties
You should discuss these potential risks with Dr Doyle in detail to be able to make an informed decision. It is important to note that most of the complications and side-effects of the alarplasty procedure can be avoided by choosing a qualified and highly-skilled specialist plastic surgeon to perform the procedure. Book a consultation with Dr Doyle today.
Your Alasplasty Procedure Journey
The consultation is the first step of your alarplasty journey is meeting your surgeon to get evaluated to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the procedure. During the consultation period, Dr Doyle will explain the details of the procedure along with the benefits and risks of it so that you can decide if it is the right choice for you.
It is strongly recommended that you are completely honest and candid with Dr Doyle when discussing your expectations and goals for the surgery. This will allow Dr Doyle to ensure that the desired results are achieved. If they cannot be achieved solely by an alarplasty procedure, Dr Doyle may recommend other associated procedures you can undergo at the same time to meet your expectations.
The Alarplasty procedure is an outpatient procedure that is under general anaesthesia to reduce a wide alar base.
Dr Doyle may perform the surgery using one or a mixture of techniques to achieve the best results for you. The position of the scars and the effect on the nostril size will depend on the techniques used.
After the initial incisions, Dr Doyle will remove excess nasal tissue and then suture up the incisions. This is the end of your alarplasty procedure and the second step of your journey.
The recovery from the alarplasty procedure is quite short and may take up to two weeks. During the recovery period, you may experience swelling and bruising which will resolve spontaneously within the first week. In fact, you can go back to work the same day or a couple of days after surgery.
While recovering from an alarplasty procedure, it is extremely important that you avoid smoking, drinking, or putting any form of pressure on the incision site as that can complicate the healing process and eventually, the results of the surgery.
Why Choose Dr Mark Doyle?
Dr Mark Doyle is a highly-skilled specialist plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience. He approaches all of the surgeries with innovative approaches to ensure the highest level of patient satisfaction.
Ala Plasty Frequently Asked Questions
Can alar base reduction be reversed?
An alar base reduction procedure is a permanent procedure. The procedure’s results cannot be reversed without undergoing another surgery to add a graft to increase the curvature of the wings of your nose.
How do I book?
Get in touch to book your initial consultation with Dr Doyle and find out more about Alarplasty surgery.
About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. Dr Doyle is a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 30+ years of experience. He has completed all required training and only carries out approved surgical practices. There are absolutely NO undertrained doctors or cosmetic doctors acting as surgeons in our clinic.
As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is committed to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
Do Your Research
What to Bring to Your Plastic Surgeon Consultation
- Bring a friend or relative for support and discussion regarding your choices
- Take notes and read all provided information thoroughly
- Read about what to expect in your Initial Surgery Consultation
Book Your Plastic Surgery Consultation
- Get a Referral from your GP or specialist – this is required to book a consultation with Dr Doyle.
- Email us or call on 07 5598 0988 to arrange your consultation appointment.
- Pay your $285 Consultation Fee in advance to secure your consultation.
Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.
- Dr. Mark Doyle AHPRA Registration: Dr Mark Doyle MED0001375519 Specialist Plastic Surgery – MBBS FRACS FRCS
*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.