Evidence Basedcheckmark

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 - 1074

The Skinny

Average Recovery

10 days




Surgical Procedure




$6000 - $7000

The Specifics

What is an alarplasty?

An alarplasty is a surgical cosmetic procedure in which a small, wedge-shaped piece of nasal soft tissue is removed from the area where the nostril connects to the cheek at the alar base. The skin is sutured back into a narrower position at the base of the nose. Scars from this procedure are typically well hidden within the natural creases of the nose.

The Anatomy of the Nose

Nose anatomy cross section illustration

What cosmetic concerns does an alarplasty procedure treat?

  1. Nose Shape: Changes to the base of the nose and nostrils allows for the creation of a narrower nose shape.
  2. Nose Size: By reducing nostril size, the base of the nose becomes reduced and slimmer.
  3. Cosmetic Breathing Issues: Combined with a rhinoplasty or performed alone, the procedure surgery can correct the symmetry and size of the nostrils.

Who is the ideal candidate for an alarplasty procedure?

An alarplasty procedure is ideal for candidates seeking to change the appearance of their nostrils and the base of the nose. Large, asymmetric nostrils, wide nostrils, or prominent nostrils can be corrected with alarplasty. Alarplasty is not recommended for individuals under the age of 18.

What is the average recovery associated with an alarplasty procedure?

Most alarplasty patients experience no more than a few weeks of downtime and are able to resume normal activities within one week. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness generally resolve within a week or two.

What are the potential side effects of an alarplasty procedure?

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

What can someone expect from the results of an alarplasty procedure?

An alarplasty procedure is a permanent procedure to alter the shape of the nostrils with immediate results that will finalize over the course of one month.

What is the average cost of an alarplasty procedure?

This is a one time permanent surgical procedure that can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $7,000. The actual cost of the procedure is dependent upon location, surgeon, and length and involvement of the surgery. To learn more, check out our [complete guide to rhinoplasty cost](


  • Smaller Nostrils
  • Symmetric Nostrils
  • Balanced Facial Features
  • No General Anesthesia
  • Quick Recovery


  • Possible Scars
  • Possible Asymmetry
  • Possible Need For Revision

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

An alarplasty procedure surgically reduces the size of the nostrils. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after an alarplasty procedure.

The Takeaway

An alarplasty procedure is a surgical procedure to alter the nostrils and the base of the nose. Alarplasty patients typically experience one to two weeks of associated recovery time.
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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Jack R Harkema The Nose Revisited: A Brief Review of the Comparative Structure, Function, and Toxicologic Pathology of the Nasal Epithelium
  2. Stewart, MG, et al. “Development and Validation of the Nasal Obstruction Symptom Evaluation (NOSE) Scale.” Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, vol. 130, no. 2.; 2004-02-01


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