Ethnic rhinoplasty refers to rhinoplasty procedures performed on patients of ethnicity. We commonly see patients of African American, Asian, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern descent. Rhinoplasty in ethnic patients often requires a different approach than in Caucasian patients. While individuals vary dramatically, there are some characteristics common to the different ethnicities that can make rhinoplasty more challenging and these must be addressed and taken into account in order to achieve an optimal result.
Most ethnic rhinoplasty patients are looking to improve upon their nose but still retain and preserve their ethnic identity. They typically do not want a fully westernized look, but they do want an improved nasal appearance that is in harmony with the rest of their facial features.
Many patients of ethnicity, particularly African American, Asian and Hispanic patients, have thicker nasal skin and weak tip cartilages. The thicker skin can make it more challenging to achieve definition in the nose, particularly in the tip, and this requires special skills and techniques.
Other common changes desired by ethnic patients include removal of a hump, raising a flat bridge, narrowing a wide appearance or broad base, adding more definition to a bulbous tip, raising a drooping tip, or improving large or flared nostrils. In some cases, grafts may be needed to augment the nose or add support to the tip. In these cases, using the patient’s own cartilage is usually preferred and cartilage can be taken from the septum, ear or rib for use as a graft.
New York facial plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Miller has extensive experience with ethnic rhinoplasty and has performed surgery on a large number of patients of various ethnicities. He does not believe in a “cookie-cutter” or “one-size-fits-all” approach and instead tailors the procedure to the individual patient and their desires. For ethnic patients who also have trouble breathing, he will perform a detailed examination and may recommend techniques to address nasal obstruction.