Alarplasty – Alar Base Reduction

Alarplasty – Nostril Reduction or Alar Base Reduction in Melbourne or Sydney

Find out more about Nose Job Surgery by Downloading this Guide

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About Alarplasty

Alarplasty, also known as nostril reduction, alar trimming, and alar reduction surgery, is a surgical procedure that changes only the width and shape of the nostrils. It is mostly sought after not only by certain ethnicities but also by those who want to aesthetically perfect the look of their nose. It can be performed by itself or as part of a rhinoplasty procedure.

Your nose defines the balance of your face. The perfect nose is straight, has a fine round tip and nostrils that are the ideal size compared to the rest of it. However, not everyone is lucky enough to have such a nose, especially those whose nostrils are fleshy, wide, or too small and different shapes and sizes. The solution may be alarplasty, a surgical procedure for defining and correcting the symmetry of the nostrils.

Am I a good candidate for Alarplasty?

Alarplasty will not significantly change your appearance, it will only improve a portion of your nose. Some people won’t even notice that you’ve done something on your face, but they will agree that you look more attractive in some way. Alarplasty is a small esthetic procedure that improves the aesthetics of the nostrils.

You might consider alarplasty if:

  • You are happy with the overall appearance of your nose, except for the nostrils,
  • If your nostrils are too wide or too narrow in proportion to other facial features,
  • If one nostril is different size and shape from the other one,
  • When you smile, your nostrils appear wider,
  • If you are in good health and non-smoking,
  • You are unhappy with the appearance of your nostrils in general.

Depending on the surgeon, alarplasty can be done on patients from 15 years of age. Exceptions are made for younger patients with severe nasal obstructions.

If you feel like your nostrils are impacting negatively your overall appearance, Dr. Richard Sackelariou and Dr. Stephen Kleid are our top Rhinoplasty Surgeons and experts for nose reshaping procedures and revisions, offering patients well-balanced, natural-looking, and uplifted post-surgery results. Alarplasty is a highly-specialized field, so the choice of the right surgeon can deeply impact the results you are looking for.

nose surgery end-of-nose-only-dr-sackelariou

Benefits of Alarplasty

If you are specifically unhappy with your nostrils, you should consider alarplasty over general reshaping surgical procedures such as rhinoplasty. Alarplasty is a less extreme surgical procedure and does not require as much recovery as major surgery.

You can expect:

  • More Matching or Symmetric nostrils
  • More balanced facial features
  • Change in the nostril’s width and size

Alarplasty recovery is usually quick and it’s one of the greatest benefits of the procedure. Local anaesthesia is used, thus making the recovery even faster and more comfortable for the patient.

Alarplasty Before and After Photos

Visit the Nose Surgery before and after Photos page

These before and after surgery photographs represent typical results our patients get. Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. You can also see more Alarplasty Photos when you visit the practice.

Alarplasty Surgical Procedure

  • Alarplasty is done by removing a wedge of the nose at the alar base. The procedure is usually done under local anaesthesia with or without sedation and takes less than an hour to complete.
  • Your surgeon will make an incision in the crease area where the cheek is connected to a nostril. A wedge of nostril wall is removed, and the incision is closed.
  • The shape of the incision may be different for each patient, depending on the shape of the nostrils and desired appearance agreed with the surgeon during the consultations.
  • Alarplasty scar is hidden in the crease of the nose, and usually not visible.

Recovery after Alarplasty

  • The recovering time from alarplasty usually takes about 1-2 weeks.  During that time, most of the swelling and bruising will subside.
  • You can return to your day to day activities 24-48 hours after the surgery.
  • Any non-self-dissolvable sutures will be removed after the first week of the recovery.
  • Patients will have a tiny hardly visible crease in the area where the cheek connects to the nostril, but with good scar care the crease will fade away with time.
  • Recovery is quick and painless, which makes alarplasty one of the most sought after nose-reshaping procedures.

Complications and Risks of Alarplasty

Alarplasty complications are rare compared to other surgical procedures performed on the nose. It is considered to be safe and quick, but as every surgical procedure, alarplasty also comes with some possible risks:

  • Bruising and swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Redness
  • Nostrils asymmetry after the surgery
  • Some pain and/or numbness
  • Scarring

Patient Journey for an Alarplasty

1. Preparation

You will attend consultations with the surgeon and discuss the motives and expectations of the surgery. Your surgeon will cover the possible risks and complications and review your medical history and records.

2. Alarplasty Surgery

Alarplasty will be performed under local anaesthesia with or without sedation and completed in less than an hour.

3. Post-Op

The patient will follow surgeons’ instructions to improve the recovery such as cleaning incisions daily and refraining from activities that could potentially cause complications.

4. Recovery

The patient will be discharged from the hospital on the same day of the surgery. Recovery usually takes up to 2 weeks with continuous daily improvement. In the first two weeks bruising and the swelling should completely disappear, and the scarring will gradually fade away.

Download Our Guide to Nose Job Surgery

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Alarplasty cost and prices in Melbourne or Sydney

Every patient is different, therefore the prices vary. You will be given a price quote after your first consultation. This will include a surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, perhaps a surgical assistant fee, and the hospital fees.

Further Reading and Medical references

FAQ about Alarplasty – Alar Reduction

Does it cost less than a Rhinoplasty procedure?

Yes it does. However, rhinoplasty is a much more broad procedure with more visible results, while alarplasty focuses on just one area of the nose.

Can makeup hide the scarring caused by Alarplasty?

Yes, until the scarring gradually fades away, makeup is a good way to completely conceal any scarring.

My nose has a big hump. Can Alarplasty remove it?

No. Alarplasty only focuses on the nostrils’ appearance. Consider making a consultation for nose reshaping with our expert nose surgeons.

Is Alarplasty permanent?

Yes, the results of the alarplasty surgery are usually permanent, although natural ageing can change the appearance of your nose over time

Choosing the best Alarplasty Surgeon for Nostril Reduction

When choosing the right plastic surgeon for Alarplasty, you should always keep in mind that the experience, training, and credentials have greater importance than the price tag. Special deals, fixed prices, and big discounts should raise a red flag. Usually, those kinds of procedures lead to another disappointing result and in the end line cost more and produce more stress, pain, take more time, and discomfort than one procedure conducted by the professional and experienced surgeon.


Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologist). Dr Stephen Kleid consults in three Melbourne practice locations – Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery in Hawthorn East, St Kilda East and East Melbourne. Dr Kleid has a passion for rhinoplasty and Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Richard Sackelariou is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and Nose Expert operating in Melbourne and Sydney

Always Choose a qualified, experienced Expert in Alarplasty

Be sure to find out if your surgeon is FRACS qualified and has proven and relevant surgical experience.

Don’t choose someone who studied a different area of medicine as they are unlikely to have the same rigorous surgical training required to become recognized as a Specialist in Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery.

Coco Ruby is an Australia-wide Specialist Plastic Surgeons Group, with the appropriate qualifications and members of recognized associations. Look for members of FRACS, ASPS, ASAPS or ISAPS as some of the Qualifications of your Surgeon. Our Surgeons operate in an accredited hospital, not in the back-room of a clinic.

Proven experience and examples from real patients or recommendations from your friends, family, or GP are available.

The Next Steps – What to do Next

  • Visit the FAQs and read patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.

How to Book your Initial Consultation

  • Email us or call on 1300 264 811 to arrange your consultation with your surgeon
  • A referral from your GP or your specialist is helpful but not essential

What to Bring to your Surgeon Consultation

  • You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.

If you want to learn more about our Specialist Plastic Surgeons or to get a quote for a Nose Reshaping procedure, please Phone 1300 264 811 or Email us at


Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgeons

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.