Rhinoplasty and Alarplasty

Rhinoplasty can be performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the exact procedure and the person’s preference. It is performed in a surgeon’s office, a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center. Complex procedures may require a short hospital stay. The procedure often takes 1 to 2 hours. It may take longer.

With local anesthesia, the nose and the area around it are numbed. You will probably be lightly sedated, but awake during the surgery . General anesthesia allows you to sleep through the operation.

The surgery is usually done through a cut made inside the nostrils. In some cases, the cut is made from outside, around the base of the nose. This type of cut is used to perform work on the tip of the nose or if you need a cartilage graft. If the nose needs to be narrowed, the incision may extend around the nostrils. Small incisions may be made on the inside of the nose to break, and reshape the bone.

A splint may be placed on the outside of the nose. This helps maintain the new shape of the bone when the surgery is finished. Soft plastic splints or nasal packs may be placed in the nostrils. This helps keep the dividing wall between the air passages stable.

Rhinoplasty procedures are one of the most common plastic surgery treatments in the United States. Used to straighten crooked bridges, smooth bumps and humps, or reduce the nasal tip, a rhinoplasty can address almost all concerns related to the nose. However, for those who desire adjustments to the nostrils alone, an alarplasty procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and result in a dramatic aesthetic transformation for the patient.


An alarplasty procedure surgically reduces the size of the nostrils. A small, wedge shaped piece of skin is removed to create smaller, more symmetrical, and narrower nostrils.

An alarplasty procedure when done alone does not require general anesthesia. For patients who are receiving an alarplasty in addition to a traditional nose job, complete sedation is typically necessary for patient comfort. While it can be performed as an individual surgery, alarplasty is commonly combined with open, closed, and ethnic rhinoplasties.

Once the patient is thoroughly anesthetized the procedure will begin.

Preoperative marks will determine the amount of nasal tissue to be removed. Depending on the patient’s anatomy, the shape of the tissue to be excised will typically be in a triangle, rectangle, or diamond shape. The surgeon will make an incision just above the outside crease where the nostril connects to the cheek. The incision will continue to the inside of the nose, following all the way around the preoperative markings. The tissue will then be excised. Sutures will then be used to reattach the nostril to the base of the nose in a more narrow position. The procedure will be repeated on the opposite nostril. Incisions and resulting scars are well hidden within the natural creases of the nose.

The goal of an alarplasty procedure is to reduce the size of the nostrils for a more symmetric nose or more balanced facial features.