Surgery To Make Nostrils Smaller

The nose is a critical aspect of the face. It is a prominent feature that most people will look at first before moving on to the rest of the face. Similarly, the nostril size and shape are also relevant to the nose’s overall look. Because of that, many people look for ways to make their nostrils smaller. It can be unattractive to have a nose and nostrils that look too big for your face.

Nostril reduction is the surgery to make nostrils smaller. There are different approaches to nostril reduction. You can get an alar base reduction or a nostril reduction. One of the most common techniques to make nostrils smaller is the Weir Excision. It is a technique that involves fixing the wedge of the nostrils. However, there are also other techniques such as Wedge or Sill excisions.

One of the major reasons why a nose may look too big is because of the nostrils. The nostrils are a huge part of the width of the nose. And in many cases, they can contribute a lot to the size of the nose’s base.

But, there is no one size fits all with regards to nose size. Most of the time, noses look different because of ethnic differences. There is no universally accepted ideal nose, and there probably will never be. Since Western media is one of the world’s main driving forces, a certain projected beauty is associated with smaller nostrils.

The Ideal Nose

Most of the beauty standards that dominate today are Eurocentric. These standards mean that, although noses tend to vary by a lot across cultures and ethnicities, Eurocentric noses tend to be ideal and most requested for rhinoplasties.

As such, most people want to achieve nasal proportions in line with current beauty standards. For example, Caucasian rhinoplasty will often revolve around a reduction or correction. But rhinoplasty for Asians will focus more on augmentation itself (Park et al., 2015). There is a difference in how noses get fixed depending on race.

The ideal nose is important in nostril reduction because it plays a large part in how people want their noses to look.

In general, the ideal nose is one that fits in the space between your eyes. Any more than that can be disastrous to the balance of your facial aesthetics. But again, it is all about what you feel comfortable with. Improvement should always be on your terms. The choices you make regarding your face should only be ones that you are completely on board with.


Alarplasty is the term for alar base reduction surgery. In this procedure, the removal of some skin on the side of the nose is necessary. This process will give off the appearance of a better-looking nose. Nostrils will be less flared, and the overall balance of the nose will be improved.

Alar is the term for the wings of the nose. The alar base contains the nostrils and is a major determinant of what your nose will look like. The job of alarplasty is to take off a little bit of the excess flare in the nostrils. As you can see below, the procedure helps with giving the patient a more balanced facial appearance.

Alarplasty Before/After, Source: Seoul Queen Ps

There are different methods of doing the procedure.

Wedge Excisions

A wedge excision takes off the fleshy part of the side of the nose. The wedge is where your nose meets your face. You can feel it as a crease on the side of your nostril. The incision will come from that area. From there, the surgeon will adjust it to achieve the patient’s desired look.

Wedge Excisions, Source: Sean Younai, MD

Weir Excisions

The Weir excision is a modified form of the wedge excision. The process requires customization of the incision so that it fits with the groove of the nose. The surgeon also places sutures to create creases. Overall, it works the same way like a wedge excision since it also removes wedges. But the difference between the wedge and Weir excision is that the Weir is just a little bit extra.

Weir Excisions, Source: Dr. Garrett Bennett

Sill Excisions

The sill excision, on the other hand, makes an incision from the bottom of the nostril. The other two removes skin from the side. Normally, the surgeon will use both wedge and sill techniques. It helps to reduce nostril width as well as alar flaring.

These three techniques go together, and most practitioners will utilize them together. The sill helps reduce the actual base, while the wedge techniques help with flaring.


Like all other surgeries, a nostril or alar reduction has its risks. You should know them beforehand, so you are not going into it blind.

First off, you have to consider your eligibility for the surgery.

If You Have Present Health Conditions

Some people may have preexisting health conditions or are not healthy in general. Try to consider if you have any health concerns that may get in the way. For the best source of information, talk to your surgeon about it. Only they will be able to determine your eligibility considering certain health parameters.

You Have Not Fully Healed From Your Previous Surgery

It is only reasonable to wait for the right time before getting another surgery. If you have had another cosmetic surgery recently, you may also have to consider that. Make sure that you have fully recovered from the previous process before jumping into a new one. Consult with your surgeon if you are ready to commit to another surgery or not. For example, the final result of a rhinoplasty takes about a year to show up.

The Result Is Achievable

The results you want should be achievable by your surgeon. Certain situations have a limited number of options. It would be best if you considered the complexity of the fix you want to happen.

Some of the risks of nostril reduction are:

  1. Infection. Like most other (if not all) surgeries, infection is an issue. It could arise due to several reasons, and aftercare also plays a part. However, nostril reduction is a minor surgery. The risks of infection happening are slim. Regardless, the risk still exists, so you have to factor it in as well.
  2. Scarring. Some techniques will not leave a visible scar. Some incisions will happen on the inside of the nostril. Thus, the scarring that will come from the procedure won’t be visible. However, not all techniques are the same. Scarring remains to be a risk that comes with getting a nostril reduction.
  3. Bad results. You always have to prepare yourself for the risk that the results may not be what you expect. Managing your expectations will help you think about the entire situation.
  4. Anesthesia. Going under for surgery has its own set of risks that you need to review with your surgeon.

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