Donald B. Yoo



Alar base modification, also known as nostril reduction surgery, is a technique used in rhinoplasty to reduce nostril width and/or flaring.

As a general guideline, the width of the base of the nose should approximate the distance between the inside corners of the eyes. Alar base modification may be considered when this relationship is distorted and the base of the nose is wider than the distance between the inside corners of the eyes. When performed correctly, alar base modification can improve the balance and harmony of the facial features while preserving a natural appearance.


With widened nostrils or flaring, the most common technique to correct this involves a Weir incision (wedge excision) which is designed to remove excess nostril tissue. A sill excision is another technique which may be used if the nostril is more enlarged on a horizontal axis. When excess width is present, a sill incision is designed to reduce the width of the nostrils.


  • A widened nasal base can be affected by a variety of different factors including ethnicity, trauma, or previous rhinoplasty.
  • Nostril asymmetry which can be caused by wide columella, caudal septal deviation, congenital defects, or nasal mass.

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