A Modern Approach to Ethnic Rhinoplasty

by : Lloyd M. Krieger, MD-7577

People of different ethnic groups often come to plastic surgeons seeking to refine the appearance of their noses. Modern rhinoplasty techniques like those done at Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery stress preservation of ethnic appearance along with overall facial balance.

The nose should match the rest of the face. Ethnic rhinoplasty or nose job works to achieve this while providing the improvements and enhancements sought in the nose.

Ethnic groups often tend to have certain characteristics to their noses, both in terms of their outer appearance and of their internal structures. For this reason, it is best to address the noses of various ethnic groups such as African Americans and Hispanics and Asians individually. “Cookie cutter" approaches to rhinoplasty rarely work well, and this is especially the case with non-Caucasian nose surgery.

There are many examples of how this individualized approach offers the best outcome in ethnic rhinoplasty. For instance, many people of Asian and African and Latino descent have noses with wide bases and broad tips. They often also have thick skin at the tip of the nose. This can give the tip a rounded or “bulbous" appearance. Non-Caucasian noses often also have a bump at the bridge, along with a wide and flat bridge.

Because of these anatomic tendencies, ethnic noses frequently require extensive work on their internal structures to create the desired appearance. This includes using plastic surgery to change the shape of the bone and cartilage inside the nose, while working to create little or no external scarring. Since this internal structural work is extensive, it can have important effects on the function as well as the appearance of the nose. For this reason, the Rodeo Drive Breathe Easy Rhinoplasty technique -- which works to improve both the appearance and the breathing function of the nose – is especially well-suited to providing good results in ethnic rhinoplasty.

Some rhinoplasty and plastic surgery techniques are commonly used for African American, Hispanic, and Asian noses. The flatter noses common in many ethnic people can be addressed by grafting cartilage from elsewhere in the body to shape the skin of the nose's tip more finely, and provide it with a refined appearance. In some cases, the nostrils are noticeably wide and benefit from direct steps to narrow them during surgery.

Prior to your procedure, you will meet with your plastic surgeon to discuss your goals from rhinoplasty. It is important to have clear ideas of what you want to change about your nose so we can come up with the best plan for your nose surgery.