Nostril Slimming / Cat Whisker ™

Patients have many concerns when they are seeking cosmetic improvements for their nose. Some patients feel like they lack a nose bridge projection (and maybe due to genetic factors) and wish to augment their bridge. Some patients have a “hump” on the bridge of the nose and wish to minimize that hump. A very common concern patients have regarding their nose is that their nostrils (Ala) are too wide. A “normal” alar base width is typically the same width as the intercanthal space (between inner corner of eyes). 

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How Does a Nostril Slimming / Cat Whisker Work?

See diagram below. If the alar width is wider than this distance, patients may perceive that their nose or nostrils are too wide. The alar width can also expand during smiling due to the muscles in the ala that cause them to flare. The flaring is commonly treated with neurotoxins such as Botox or Dysport which relax the muscles.

A common procedure that does involve going under the knife or getting surgery called  is Alar base reduction whereby a surgeon makes an incision and sews the alar back in a more narrow position. Sometimes small segments of the nostril are removed to reduce the overall size and shape of the nostril.

Now a nonsurgical option is possible to narrow the Ala width. Dr. TJ Tsay has developed technique called CAT WHISKER TM using absorbable PDO threads to literally pull the outer edges of the  ala to a more narrow position. The procedure involves precisely guiding a barbed thread underneath the base of the nose.  After the guide is removed there are short thread segments protruding from the sides of the nostrils. These short segments (which resemble a “Cat Whisker”) are then buried underneath the upper lip area in a cris cross fashion to hide any visible threads.  Smooth PDO threads are then inserted in the nostrils to further tighten the ala. Finally neurotoxins are injected into the ala to relax and atrophy the muscles  of the nostrils.

Nostril Slimming / Cat Whisker TM by Dr. Tsay

This procedure is NOT claiming to substitute for the Ala base reduction surgery as it does have its limitations. First of all the results are NOT permanent. The PDO threads dissolve after 6-8 months but the effects usually last longer than that. Individual results may vary.

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