The approach plastic surgeons took to rhinoplasty decades ago was different than it is today. Back then, surgeons performing nasal surgery had a Caucasian face and nose in mind when they performed the surgery. While the results they got from rhinoplasty in those days might have been flattering for Caucasian people, it didn’t always work on the faces of people from a different ethnic background.
Ethnic rhinoplasty, on the other hand, is a type of nasal surgery that alters the shape and size of the nose, while keeping the specific ethnic traits of that nose in mind. The result is a nose that flatters a person’s face while maintaining his or her ethnic features and identity. Learn more about ethnic rhinoplasty to see if it’s the surgery for you.
Traits and Characteristics of Ethnic Noses
Depending on your ethnic background, your nose might look considerably different from another person’s nose. While people of the same background don’t always have identical noses and there is a lot of room for variation and differences within a population, ethnic noses do generally share some features in common.
For example, people of African American descent typically have noses that have wider, more flared nostrils, a wider base and a rounder tip than people of Caucasian descent. The skin of the nose is also usually thicker.
People of Middle Eastern descent often have a wider or rounder tip on their nose. They are also more likely to have a bump or hump on the bridge of the nose and a tip that droops somewhat. Latino people are likely to have a nasal hump as well, plus thicker skin in the nose. They might also have a weaker tip compared to people of other ethnicities.
People of East Asian descent might have thicker nasal skin than other people, as well as a less pronounced nasal bridge and a rounder tip. People from South Asia might be more likely to have a hump and to have a longer, more prominent nose.
What Happens During Ethnic Rhinoplasty
During ethnic rhinoplasty, the goal of surgery is often to create a nose that flatters a person’s features while still maintaining the ethnic characteristics of the nose. The specific changes a surgeon will make to the nose depend in large part on the patient’s goals and on the existing features of the nose.
Although the exact details of the surgery vary from patient to patient with ethnic rhinoplasty, a surgeon might focus on narrowing the width of the nostrils or reducing their flare. The surgery might also involve augmentation of the bridge of the nose to raise its profile, or augmentation of the nasal tip. A surgeon might need to graft cartilage from another area of the body to the nose or use an implant during ethnic rhinoplasty.
Ethnic rhinoplasty usually involves the use of general anesthesia, meaning that the patient is completely unconscious during the procedure. Depending on the goals of the surgery and the complexity of the procedure, it might be performed using a closed technique or an open technique.
During a closed rhinoplasty, all the incisions are made inside the nose. During an open surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision on the outside of the nose between the nostrils, then flips the top of the nose back to work on changes from the outside in.
Are You a Candidate for Ethnic Rhinoplasty?
Although having a non-Caucasian nose is a major requirement for candidacy for ethnic rhinoplasty, it’s not the only requirement. As with any other plastic surgery, you should be in good overall health before undergoing ethnic rhinoplasty. The healthier you are, the lower your risk for complications.
To make sure you’re in good health, your surgeon will perform a physical exam and take your medical history before the surgery. Conditions that can interfere with having rhinoplasty include uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Some habits, namely smoking or using tobacco products, may interfere with your candidacy for surgery. If you do use tobacco products or smoke, your surgeon will advise you to quit at least two weeks before the surgery.
Having realistic expectations about what the surgery can and can’t do is another important criterion for being a rhinoplasty surgery candidate. Your surgeon will discuss what you can expect from the surgery and will get a sense of how in line with reality your expectations for your results are. It’s important to understand that while the surgery can change your nose’s appearance, it won’t change who you are.
Choosing a Surgeon for Ethnic Rhinoplasty
Another important decision you’ll make concerning ethnic rhinoplasty is the surgeon you choose to perform the procedure. All types of rhinoplasty are very specialized procedures, requiring a certain amount of experience and knowledge of the specific structures and makeup of the nose.
For that reason, you want to choose a surgeon with ample experience performing ethnic rhinoplasty. Not only that, but you want to find a surgeon with experience performing rhinoplasty on people of your ethnic background. When you’re looking for a surgeon, ask to see pictures of past patients so that you can get a sense of how they looked before their nose surgery and after. You can also ask to speak to past patients to find out if they are happy with their results and if they would recommend the doctor.
About Dr. Rubinstein
Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein is a double board certified plastic surgeon who performs ethnic rhinoplasty at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery Specialists, PC in Newburgh, New York. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rubinstein can help you decide if ethnic rhinoplasty is the procedure that will help you reach your goals. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, call 845-863-1772 today.