Ethnic Considerations in Rhinoplasty

Why is ethnicity taken into consideration during rhinoplasty?

Ethnicity is a defining feature for many individuals and the shape of the nose can often be attributed to different ethnicities. Rhinoplasty is a completely customized and tailored procedure to each individual to change the external shape of the nose and improve breathing. Therefore, it is important to discuss the goals of surgery with your facial plastic surgeon, understand the realistic changes they can accomplish, and if you want to maintain a component of your ethnic nasal shape. For example, a patient with a large dorsal hump may not want a completely straight or “scooped” appearing nose. 

What is African American rhinoplasty?

In general, African Americans tend to have a flatter bridge or dorsum, soft tip cartilages that point downwards, and a wider tip and nostrils. Therefore, rhinoplasty often means building up the dorsum, lifting and narrowing the tip, and bringing the nostrils in for more tip definition. 
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To achieve these changes, septum and sometimes rib cartilage are needed to build up the dorsum and lift the tip. Well-hidden incisions are also placed along the nostrils to make them more narrow. The incisions heal without issue when done correctly. In general, keloids do not develop after this surgery, however, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon if you have a history of them. Additionally, patients with thicker skin sometimes need additional taping, steroid injections, or oral medications to improve the contour after surgery. 

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Actual patient of Dr. Celeste Nagy

What is Asian Rhinoplasty?

There are many different shapes of noses depending on the varying Asian cultures. In general, Asian noses tend to have a flatter bridge or dorsum, soft tip cartilages that point downwards, and a wider or bulbous tip and nostrils. Therefore, rhinoplasty often means building up the dorsum and lifting and narrowing the tip to add additional definition. The shape of the nose completely depends on the patient’s aesthetic goals.  To achieve these changes, the rib cartilage is needed to build up the dorsum with smooth grafts and lift the tip. If only minor changes are needed, then septum cartilage may be sufficient. Well-hidden incisions are also placed along the nostrils to make them more narrow when needed. 

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What is Hispanic or Latin X rhinoplasty?

The Hispanic or Latin X population is a large mix of ethnicities and the diversity of noses reflects that. In general, Hispanic patients have a variety of nasal shapes, but the common complaints are a dorsal hump and wide tip that points downwards. Additionally, Hispanic patients tend to have thicker skin. 

Rhinoplasty for this population often involves hump reduction, tip narrowing and elevating the tip for additional definition. Additionally, patients with thicker skin sometimes need additional taping, steroid injections, or oral medications that decrease oil production in thick skin to improve the contour after rhinoplasty. 

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What is Middle Eastern rhinoplasty?

The Middle Eastern population is extremely diverse. In general, these patients have a variety of nasal shapes, but the common complaints are a dorsal hump, thick skin, and bulbous tip that points downwards, especially with smiling. A common concern is that they feel their nose is too large for their face.  

Rhinoplasty for this population often involves hump reduction, tip narrowing and elevating the tip for additional definition. This is often achieved with only septal cartilage in primary rhinoplasty. Additionally, patients with thicker skin sometimes need additional taping, steroid injections, or oral medications that decrease oil production in thick skin to improve the contour after rhinoplasty. It is always important to discuss with your surgeon the goal of your surgery. 

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