I’m often asked, “Does ethnicity play a role in rhinoplasty technique?” Absolutely! Ethnic cosmetic surgery is on the rise with rhinoplasty being the most requested surgery. Every patient’s rhinoplasty is different regardless of ethnicity. In order for the nose to appear balanced and look natural, each individual’s specific facial features are taken into account. However, there are certain techniques that are used when dealing with various nose structures and skin color that are present in ethnic patients. For example, African American noses often require narrowing the nostrils via alar base reduction and an augmentation of the nasal bridge and tip. The overall result is a nose that doesn’t appear as wide from the front. Asian patients often benefit from this technique as well.
Hispanic or Middle Eastern noses are frequently characterized as having long, wide nasal bones, drooping nasal tips, thick sebaceous skin, and a larger dorsal hump. These features necessitate a reduction in the nose vs. an augmentation. This procedure requires removing bone and cartilage to give a more subtle appearance. It can also include narrowing of the nasal tip, nasal tip reshaping, or removal of the dorsum hump.
During initial consultation, it is important for the patient to provide specific details about what they don’t like about their nose and what they would like to change. At this time, the surgeon can access the bone structure, skin, and cartilage strength to determine how to achieve patient goals and expectations. Skin thickening is also a potential issue because ethnic patients tend to have a more fibrous tissue than Caucasian patients and a naturally thicker skin envelope covering the structures that are shaped during rhinoplasty. These issues are taken into consideration during surgery to ensure the best possible results.
Ethnic rhinoplasty requires extensive surgical knowledge and understanding of various ethnicities. Understanding a patient’s desire for preservation of their ethnicity should be taken into consideration as well. Choosing a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon ensures the best possible evaluation and surgical outcome.
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