Can Nostril Narrowing Be Reversed?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a question that I wanted to see if you could address. I previously had a alar base reduction and am devastated with the results. The surgeon removed 2.5mm but even that little amount made a big difference as it changed my nostril curvature.

I have been suggested by another doctor that an option is to take a small piece of skin from my nasal floor (where the alar base reduction should have been done originally to avoid losing the curvature) and place that piece of skin into the curve. The skin is the exact same color and contour so irregularities will not be a problem. The second option is taking a small piece from the bottom of my nasal rim (my nostrils have been brought down so I need to have my alar rim raised anyways). My only question is regarding stitching. Since skin is being placed back, I’ll have another marking of scar. Do scars easily fade away and are they noticeable?

A: The best advice I can give you is to be very careful when embarking on a corrective procedure that is also going to leave a scar of some sort. What you don’t want to do is in the goal of correcting one problem you merely create another new problem. In other words every procedure has tradeoffs. If you fix the nostril narrowing but end up with visible scarring, even if it is slight, is that a worthy tradeoff? I can not answer that question for you, only you can. But what I do know is there is no corrective procedure which will not have a tradeoff.

Be very careful about ending up merely going down the ‘rabbit hole’. Plastic surgery is littered with many rabbit hole patients…I see them all the time.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana