• 03 September 2013
Nose Job: Ethnic Considerations
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In the United States, when a prospective patient arrives in a plastic surgeon’s office to discuss a nose job (rhinoplasty), he or she must be clear and descriptive about expectations. Today’s plastic surgeon must be trained to work with the individual’s facial features, no matter their ethnicity. The goal should be too enhance the facial

aesthetic rather than try to “westernize” the nose. Ethnic anatomical features and cultural tastes can present interesting challenges for the plastic surgeon.

African American Features

Generally, African American noses have extra fatty tissue and thicker skin. The bones of the nose are shorter and the bridge of the nose may be wide, low, and flat.

The most common changes in this group include narrowing the bridge of the nose and increasing the profile with an implant or harvested cartilage. The tip of the nose and the nostrils may also be refined and narrowed, while excess fatty tissue may be removed.

Hispanic Features

Hispanic patients generally have thicker, oilier skin on their noses (compared to Caucasian noses), softer cartilage, and a wider, lower and flatter bridge of the nose. Challenges for surgeons include the softer, less supportive cartilage and the thicker skin which can mask the changes to the underlying structure. Hispanic nose jobs often feature narrowing of the nose and nostrils and refining the tip of the nose. Harvested cartilage is often used to support the structural changes.

Asian Features

Asian noses are usually smaller and shorter than Caucasian noses, with wider nostrils and tip, weak cartilage, and a flatter bridge of the nose. Asian rhinoplasty is unique since it usually involves augmentation to make it longer and more prominent. This can be done using implants or harvested cartilage.

Middle Eastern Features

In general, Middle Easterners have larger and more prominent noses than Caucasians. They are more likely to have a bump on the top and a tip that droops. Middle Eastern rhinoplasty typically includes narrowing and reducing the nose, lifting the tip and smoothing out any bumps.

Tips to make the most of your consultation

  1. Before your appointment, look at lots of photos of noses that you like on people of your own ethnicity
  2. Clip photos to bring to your appointment
  3. Look at lots of before and after photos
  4. Describe to your surgeon,in detail from the photos, what you do and don’t like
  5. Be clear on your goals; work with the surgeon to have a clear understanding of realistic expectations for your specific nose and face