An alarplasty procedure surgically reduces the size of the nostrils. A small, wedge shaped piece of skin is removed to create smaller, more symmetrical, and narrower nostrils.

Alarplasty Overview - Everything You Need to Know

The Skinny

avg. recovery
10 days
Is permanent
Surgical Procedure
$6000 - $7000

About the Procedure

Last Updated: 07.27.2021

Rhinoplasty procedures are one of the most common plastic surgery treatments in the United States. Used to straighten crooked bridges, smooth bumps and humps, or reduce the nasal tip, a rhinoplasty can address almost all concerns related to the nose. However, for those who desire adjustments to the nostrils alone, an alarplasty procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and result in a dramatic aesthetic transformation for the patient. An alarplasty procedure when done alone does not require general anesthesia. For patients who are receiving an alarplasty in addition to a traditional nose job, complete sedation is typically necessary for patient comfort. While it can be performed as an individual surgery, alarplasty is commonly combined with open, closed, and ethnic rhinoplasties. Once the patient is thoroughly anesthetized the procedure will begin. Preoperative marks will determine the amount of nasal tissue to be removed. Depending on the patient's anatomy, the shape of the tissue to be excised will typically be in a triangle, rectangle, or diamond shape. The surgeon will make an incision just above the outside crease where the nostril connects to the cheek. The incision will continue to the inside of the nose, following all the way around the preoperative markings. The tissue will then be excised. Sutures will then be used to reattach the nostril to the base of the nose in a more narrow position. The procedure will be repeated on the opposite nostril. Incisions and resulting scars are well hidden within the natural creases of the nose.

The goal of an alarplasty procedure is to reduce the size of the nostrils for a more symmetric nose or more balanced facial features.


Alarplasty addresses concerns such as:

Recovery Notes

Recovery from an alarplasty procedure is relatively quick when compared to other nose procedures. The nose will be red and swollen which is expected. Superficial sutures are removed after 1 week. Most patients are fully recovered within 1-2 weeks with only mild to moderate swelling thereafter, usually lasting no longer than 1 month.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for an alarplasty procedure has large, asymmetric, or prominent nostrils and desires smaller nostrils to create more balanced facial features.

Not Recommended For

Alarplasty is not recommended for candidates under the age of 18 unless correction is due to injury, however, need for surgery must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis because children mature physically and emotionally at varying rates.

Side Effects

Side effects from an alarplasty procedure may include bruising, bleeding, swelling, asymmetry, numbness, scarring, and difficulties breathing.


  • smaller nostrils
  • symmetric nostrils
  • balanced facial features
  • no general anesthesia
  • quick recovery


  • possible scars
  • possible asymmetry
  • possible need for revision

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