Nasal base narrowing: the combined alar base excision technique

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2007 Jan-Feb;9(1):30-4. doi: 10.1001/archfaci.9.1.30.


Objective: To evaluate the role of the combined alar base excision technique in narrowing the nasal base and correcting excessive alar flare.

Methods: The study included 60 cases presenting with a wide nasal base and excessive alar flaring. The surgical procedure combined an external alar wedge resection with an internal vestibular floor excision. All cases were followed up for a mean of 32 (range, 12-144) months. Nasal tip modification and correction of any preexisting caudal septal deformities were always completed before the nasal base narrowing.

Results: The mean width of the external alar wedge excised was 7.2 (range, 4-11) mm, whereas the mean width of the sill excision was 3.1 (range, 2-7) mm. Completing the internal excision first resulted in a more conservative external resection, thus avoiding any blunting of the alar-facial crease. No cases of postoperative bleeding, infection, or keloid formation were encountered, and the external alar wedge excision healed with an inconspicuous scar that was well hidden in the depth of the alar-facial crease. Finally, the risk of notching of the alar rim, which can occur at the junction of the external and internal excisions, was significantly reduced by adopting a 2-layered closure of the vestibular floor (P = .01).

Conclusions: The combined alar base excision resulted in effective narrowing of the nasal base with elimination of excessive alar flare. Commonly feared complications, such as blunting of the alar-facial crease or notching of the alar rim, were avoided by using simple modifications in the technique of excision and closure.

MeSH terms

  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rhinoplasty / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome