A nose job is just a nose job regardless of ethnicity, right? Technically, the surgical procedure of rhinoplasty is generally performed similarly, regardless of skin color. However, the subtle nuances of different ethnicities nasal, facial, and skin structures must be considered when performing rhinoplasty. Overall, ethnic rhinoplasty often requires a more complex and elaborate surgery to be successful. For this reason, ethnic rhinoplasty is considered a specialty that plastic surgeons, if lacking the experience, should refer to an expert in the field of rhinoplasty to perform the procedure.
It is critical to understand that true ethnic rhinoplasty focuses not only on reshaping the nose but also preserving the ethnic qualities of the nose during the process. A board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in ethnic rhinoplasty will be able to discuss and show you what changes can be made while still preserving your subtle ethnic features. Nasal reshaping can include, but is not limited to, altering or reshaping the nasal bridge (removing the bump or building it up in some patients ), reducing the overall width of the nose, correcting the overall shape of the nose (enlarging or reducing), reshaping the nasal tip, reducing the size of the nostrils, and/or correcting the angle between the nose and the lip.
Common characteristics of different ethnicities as well as common complaints that I receive are outlined below.
- An African-American patient usually has thicker skin, and wider nostrils, as well as a wider and flatter nasal bridge. Common complaints include flaring nostrils and the nose appearing too short, too large, or under projected.
- A Latino patient usually has thicker skin and soft nasal cartilage, as well as a wider and flatter nasal bridge. Common complaints include flaring nostrils and nose appearing too short or under projected.
- An Asian patient usually has a smaller/shorter nose, low nasal bridge, and wide nostrils. Common complaints include flaring nostrils and the nose appearing too short or under projected.
- A Middle Eastern patient usually has a larger prominent nose and moderately wide nostrils. Common complaints include exaggerated dorsal hump/bump or the nose is too large.
The above common characteristics of ethnic nasal structure is not all encompassing and every patient is unique, thus requiring an individualized surgical approach. Various techniques can be used to improve the appearance of your nose and a board-certified plastic surgeon will discuss which approach is best for you.
Ethnic rhinoplasty presents several challenges that must be addressed to achieve optimum results. Darker skin tones tend to have thicker skin which can obscure the underlying nasal structure and make the desired results more challenging to achieve. The nasal cartilage and darker skin tones tend to be more delicate requiring precise skill and often requires cartilage grafts to achieve the correct effect. Also, since darker skin tones tend to have more noticeable scarring, greater expertise and experience of the board-certified plastic surgeon with expertise in Rhinoplasty is required to obtain a more consistent result in these challenging patients.
It is important to note when considering ethnic rhinoplasty to seek an industry expert in the field. Rhinoplasty is an art of millimeters. A person’s nose is the focal point of the face and is a defining ethnic facial characteristic. For your safety, I cannot stress the importance of discussing your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is a specialist in ethnic rhinoplasty. When considering plastic surgery, you need an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who is an expert in the field that can show you proof of exceptional results.