The Piazza Center for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care
7900 Farm to Market Road 1826, Bldg 2, Suite 206
Austin, TX 78737
Phone: (512) 288-8200
Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

The Nasal Ala & Wide Nostrils

In order to create a nose that is balanced with the other features of the face, many factors need to be considered. Trust your face to a rhinoplasty expert like Dr. Marcelo Antunes of The Piazza Center in Austin, TX to help you achieve the nose you’ve always wanted.

In order to refine the appearance and functionality of the nose, the nasal cartilages and nasal bones are reshaped during rhinoplasty. Creating a balanced appearance between the width and projection of the nose and its shape in relation to the rest of the face is key. An experienced rhinoplasty surgeon will focus on making small changes to create a balanced, aesthetically appealing appearance.

The width of the nasal ala (base of the nose, where the sides of the nostrils attach to the cheek) should be about the same width of the space between both eyes – usually within 2 mm. That area is made of fibro-fatty soft tissue and there is no cartilage in it. Patients with a thicker or wider ala don’t have thicker or wider cartilages, they just have more of this fibro-fatty tissue giving the flared and wide appearance to the nasal base.

There are several different techniques to address the wide ala and nostrils, which include a variation of a wedge excision of the area. Depending on what is excised – the outer ala skin or inner nostril skin – this will have a different effect on the width and curvature of the ala and shape of the nostrils. The key factor is to have a proper understanding of where is the deformity and which is the most appropriate way to treat it.

This figure demonstrates the improvement that this small procedure can create on the overall harmony of the nose. On the left side, where the sutures are placed, we can see a nostril that has a more delicate shape when compared to the right side where the nostril appears wide and flat.

The skin around the nostrils has abundant oil glands and is a higher risk for suboptimal healing when compared to other areas of incision around the nose. In some cases, it is recommended to inject local steroids in the scar after surgery to improve the appearance of the scar. The scar can be further minimized by performing dermabrasion or laser treatments about three to four months after surgery. This resurfaces the area by removing the outer layers of skin cells and allowing new skin to grow in the area which creates a smoother appearance.

Please contact The Piazza Center at (512) 288-8200 or request a consultation with Dr. Antunes to discuss your rhinoplasty options today.

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