Alar Base Reduction


Alar Base Reduction or Nostril Width Surgery is a minor surgical procedure to reduce the width of the nostrils.

It is commonly used in facial plastic surgery to reduce the size of large, wide or flared nostrils or nostrils that are not in proportion to the tip of the nose and the position of the eyes.  It is an effective procedure to change nasal appearance and refine a nose to create better facial harmony.

“In Australia, wide Alar Bases are common in Polynesian and Asian noses,” explains pioneering Australian ENT and Rhinoplasty Surgeon, Dr William Mooney.

“The face of Australians is changing – quite literally – through our ever expanding diversification of cultures,” he continues. “Therefore, Alar Base Rhinoplasty is without doubt becoming increasingly more popular within my Sydney Medical and Cosmetic Surgery Practice.”

Alar Base Rhinoplasty can be performed as part of formal Rhinoplasty, he adds, “but more recently we have begun performing it as a stand alone procedure in our clinic, sometimes in conjunction with an injectable Rhinoplasty.”

“Now – in selected patients – we can also offer a scar less technique,” he continues. “This is particularly pertinent as many of the patients that are of an ethnicity that produces a wider Alar Base also have skin that is more prone to scarring.”

At the forefront of this new innovation in scar less Alar Base Rhinoplasty, Dr Mooney explains that he has long been passionate about the development and personally pioneering the procedure since completing his studies within a fellowship at the famous Lasky clinic in Beverly Hills.


The procedure of Alar Base Rhinoplasty is vastly different to that of Injectable Rhinoplasty or traditional Rhinoplasty procedures, notes Dr Mooney, however, some integral steps never vary. “As always assessment is essential,” he assures.

“We take a history and photos and show the patient using digital imaging software exactly how refined their new nose could be,” he explains. Then, under local anesthetic and guided by absolutely precise measurements, an ellipse of tissue is removed from the ‘sill’ of the nostril.

“The new contour is sewn into place using dissolving sutures which takes about an hour,” he concludes, noting that pain is minimal and patients can return to work the same day!

However, as fault proof as it appears, Dr Mooney is quick to point out that the Alar Base procedure is as much about medical results as it is cosmetic. “All Rhinoplasty is the combination of form and function and Alar Base reduction is no different,” he cautions.

“A nose not only has to look good, it has to work well too!”

Please contact our Patient Coordinator through our Online Inquiry Form or call 02 8897 0079 to book a consultation today.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


Expect to spend about an hour with Dr William Mooney for a thorough consultation. Patients often think it’s just their alar base but there are other areas of the nose that need to be addressed.

You will first be greeted by Dr Mooney’s receptionists, they will ask you to fill in a form with basic details.
One of Dr Mooney’s trained nurses will begin by taking high resolution images for subsequent digital images. The nurse will also provide a pre-consultation.
This is followed by a formal consultation with Dr William Mooney.
He will assess your full medical history and a medical examination is performed.
In particular, Dr Mooney will discuss any sinonasal problems or complaints and other associated problems with nasal dysfunction such as snoring or poor sense of smell and sinusitis.
Thorough examination ensues, Dr Mooney will perform a fibreoptic nasendoscopy examination and test nasal peak inspiratory flow to thoroughly assess your nasal function
We then move onto a cosmetic assessment, using our digital photography.
We use real time high resolution imagery in both 2D and 3D to plan a new nasal contour for you.
Dr William Mooney will then discuss operative planning, risks and complications.
We always have at least two consultations before the procedure. This cooling off period is essential as this is such an important life decision. It is a healthcare stipulation for young patients but we apply to all patients.
At our subsequent consult, we discuss the finer details of the pre-operative treatment; what to wear, eat, think and do as your operation approaches.
You will also revisit the digitally modified images and don’t move forward until the patient and doctor are fully appraised and happy with the plan.

Following your first alar base procedure consultation, the wait period is between two to six weeks.

The alar base reduction procedure can take up to one hour.

Alar base reduction is a procedure to decrease nostril width or correct nostril asymmetries.
It can be performed under a local anaesthetic in a clinical setting or as a part of a formal rhinoplasty in the operating theatre.

No, the patient should not experience any pain during the procedure.

The nostrils feel a little tight for a couple of weeks’ post procedure.

Depends on the amount of reduction. Dr William Mooney has developed his own scarless technique where no sutures or scars are visible.

Following an alar base reduction the bruising and swelling should only last a minimal time, 24 to 48 hours.

Patients usually go back to work the next day following an alar base reduction.

Dr Mooney and the pre-operative nurse will go through all of your operative planning a couple of weeks before the alar base procedure.
Some food stuffs such as chilli, garlic and galangal do increase prolonged bruising.

The procedure was first performed in 2000. The scarless modification was developed in the early 2000’s.

An alar base reduction does not obstruct your breathing.

You will be able to head home immediately following the alar base procedure.

Typically, Dr Mooney will ask international patients to stay in Sydney for one week following the alar base procedure.

An alar base reduction is a purely cosmetic procedure and cannot be claimed via Medicare or a Private Health Fund.

Following an alar base reduction, results are visible within 24 hours.

A measured return to exercise can be expected one week following your alar base procedure.

The results of an alar base reduction are permanent.