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An ideal nose is one that is harmonious with the other favourable facial features. The alar wings, literally “nose wings”, are the cartilage that make up the lower third of the nose. An ideal alar should not exceed a vertical line drawn from the inner canthus of the eye downwards. A widened or flared alar, meanwhile, leads to the appearance of a bulbous nasal tip.

Alarplasty, also known as nostril reduction, is the cosmetic procedure used to reduce the width of the nostrils and correct alar flaring by excising a wedge of the alar wings.

An ideal alarplasty patient is one who feels that the alar wings are too large compared to the rest of their facial features. Usually, around 5-7mm of skin and tissue is removed from each side of the nostril. Alarplasty is done under local anesthesia and takes around 45 minutes to complete. It is often done alongside rhinoplasty.

Alarplasty Recovery

A follow-up appointment with the doctor is scheduled 5-7 days after the operation to remove the stitches. Downtime for alarplasty takes about 1 week. Colourless sutures are an option for patients who cannot afford this prolonged downtime.

Post-procedure patients will be prescribed with standard painkillers, antibiotics, anti-swelling medication and topical antibiotic ointment. Scar ointments and lightening creams may also be prescribed to facilitate quick healing. Laser therapy may be recommended for some patients.

Results of alarplasty become noticeable after 1-2 months once all the swelling has resolved. Scars are usually not obvious as they are hidden within the alar groove.

Dr Leo Kah Woon is the Secretary for both the Singapore Association of Plastic Surgeons as well as the Singapore Society of Cosmetic (Aesthetic) Surgeons for the year 2014-2015. He is experienced in performing Alar Reduction Procedures and Alarplasty Surgeries in Singapore. Book an appointment today at +65 6733 3895.