No two noses are exactly alike. The nose you inherited from your family could leave you feeling less confident and attractive – and the size and shape of your nostrils may be the issue. The “alar” is a medical term that means “wings,” and refers to the nostril structure. Many people who are unhappy with the appearance of overlarge, oddly-shaped, or misshapen nostrils take the step of undergoing a surgical procedure to resculpt the nostrils, called an alarplasty.

You probably have questions about the procedure, what to expect, and concerns about finding a facial plastic surgeon who will create the most pleasing outcome. It is understandable when a person considers an alarplasty to enhance the facial appearance and finally be free from overlarge or unattractive nostrils. Dr. James Ridgeway is one of the most revered facial plastic surgeons in Seattle, known for his artistry in nose reshaping surgery. The first step is a private consultation to evaluate your nose shape and fully answer all your questions and concerns.

What is Alarplasty and How Does it Work?

In general, it is thought that the width of the nose should fit within the width of the eye area or one-fifth the width of the entire face. If your nose extends beyond these proportions, it may be perceived as overly wide and could leave your face appearing less balanced and appealing. Our Bellevue alarplasty is a form of rhinoplasty that resolves this specific type of facial imbalance. It can decrease the overall width of the nose. Many people seeing rhinoplasty do so because they feel they have overly-wide nostrils that detract the eyes of other people from your other attractive facial features.

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The Perfect Nose Shape for Your Face

A nicely shaped nose, when crafted to enhance your other features, creates facial harmony and balance. Others see your face and naturally view it as aesthetically pleasing. An alarplasty creates facial harmony and can dramatically improve your appearance in a simple, fast surgical procedure. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia. You will not experience any pain during the procedure. Cartilage will be removed from each nostril, creating a narrower base for the structure of the nose. Excess soft tissue will be removed. Once the new nasal structure has been sculpted, the incision will be closed with sutures and the area bandaged to protect the new structure and speed healing.

How is Alarplasty Related to Rhinoplasty?

Rhinoplasty is a form of facial plastic surgery that is used to correct external or internal imperfections in the nasal structure. It is a broad term that covers several surgical procedures, including a cosmetic nose job to remove a bump on the bridge of the nose, to correct a droopy or bulbous nose tip, or restore breathing function by correcting the internal structures of the nose such as repairing a deviated septum.

Recovery After Alarplasty

As part of your alarplasty procedure, no bone reshaping is necessary, so recovery time is shorter than is necessary after a full rhinoplasty. You should expect to have some pain and swelling in the days following your surgery. Minor bleeding at the incision site is normal and should subside after the first two days. Facial swelling should begin to disappear about one week following your surgery.

During your recovery from alarplasty, you will be prescribed a minor painkiller to keep you comfortable in the early stages of healing. Your downtime from the surgery will be approximately one to two weeks. If you wear glasses, you should plan not to wear them for an additional week (three weeks total) following an alarplasty. 

You will also need to avoid wearing contact lenses for approximately three days following the procedure. Even after your sutures have been removed, it is important to continue to care for your newly reshaped nostril structure during the weeks following surgery as a part of the healing process.

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Am I a Candidate?

If you feel your nostrils are too wide for your overall facial structure, negatively impacting your facial appearance, you are likely a good candidate for alarplasty in Seattle. Contact Dr. James M. Ridgeway at our Bellevue clinic. As a highly-skilled, board-certified plastic surgeon, you can be confident that your procedure will be performed with meticulous care and a high level of surgical artistry. With a five-star rating on and rave reviews from his patients, Dr. Ridgeway, our board-certified facial plastic surgeon, is one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons practicing in the Seattle area.

Schedule a consultation

Schedule A Consultation

If you are ready to refresh and rejuvenate your look today, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of the best plastic surgeons Seattle has to offer: Dr. James M. Ridgway. During your private consultation Dr. Ridgway will carefully evaluate your face and the subtle imperfections that concern you most before providing you with a personalized blend of Bellevue cosmetic surgery procedures that will help you achieve your ideal facial appearance.

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