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Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2005 Mar-Apr;7(2):81-93.

A simplified approach to alar base reduction: a review of 124 patients over 20 years.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Facial Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, USA.



To simplify the approach and diagnosis of alar base reduction, suggest a treatment algorithm, and evaluate the long-term outcomes of 3 different techniques used separately or in conjunction with one another.


Retrospective review of 124 patients seen in a private practice by a single surgeon. Patients ranged in age from 15 to 59 years (mean age, 30.4 years). Patients were undergoing primary (83.9%) or revision (16.1%) procedures.


Of the 124 patients undergoing alar base reduction, 31 (25%) were male and 93 (75%) were female. Average follow-up was 2 years. All patients underwent wedge excision, and for 64 patients (51.6%), this was the only technique used on the alar base. Alar wedge and nasal sill excisions were performed in 21 patients (16.9%); 19 (15.3%) underwent alar wedge excision with V-Y advancement, and 20 (16.1%) underwent alar wedge excision, nasal sill excision, and V-Y advancement. Thirty-one patients (25.0%) received dermabrasion for notable postoperative incision scars.


The data represent the senior author's outcomes of alar base reductions over the past 20 years. The 3 techniques we describe have been effective when used alone or in combination in reducing alar flare and in narrowing the nasal base. Patients should be counseled that dermabrasion of the wedge excision areas in the alar-facial groove may be necessary to diminish visible scars.

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