The goal of rhinoplasty is to enhance the beauty of the nose while maintaining a natural appearance. When performing an “ethnic rhinoplasty”, it is important to stay true and consistent with the aesthetic standards of an individual’s cultural background. This should always be performed by a rhinoplasty expert who understands the differences in anatomy and aesthetics of different cultures, strives to produce culturally-appropriate and natural appearing noses, and is proficient in advanced nasal reconstruction techniques.
TYPES OF ETHNIC RHINOPLASTY
Common features of the Asian nose include a low and wide nasal bridge, a wide and flat nasal tip, wide nostrils, and weak cartilage. Asian rhinoplasty commonly involves building up the framework of the nose (dorsal augmentation, tip support) and reshaping the nose (width and length). This degree of reconstruction often requires supplemental cartilage grafts beyond the natural cartilage supply of the nose. The bridge, or “dorsum”, can be raised using a meticulously shaped diced cartilage graft. To achieve this, Dr. Sharma often harvests cartilage from the rib or ear to create a customized diced cartilage graft which is measured to the size and shape of your nose.
In Asian rhinoplasty, the nasal tip is often projected (lengthened) and refined using supporting grafts along the septum and the lower supporting cartilage. Lastly, the width of the nostrils and nasal base can be reduced to better fit the dimensions of the newly reconstructed nose.
MIDDLE EASTERN RHINOPLASTY
The Middle Eastern nose commonly features a prominent nasal bridge with a large dorsal hump. In performing Middle Eastern rhinoplasty, it is important to avoid creating an overly small nose, or to over-reduce the hump to the point wherve the nose has a scooped or “ski-slope” profile. Other common features of a Middle Eastern nose are a long nose and a low-hanging nasal tip which further droops when smiling. Middle Eastern rhinoplasty commonly involves measured, conservative reduction of the nasal shape and dimensions.
An important factor to consider is skin thickness and overall quality. The Middle Eastern nose often has thicker skin with large pores. This is important to consider when performing techniques which reduce the size of the nose, as thicker skinned patients are limited in the degree of nasal refinement that can be achieved with surgery. Thicker skin also affects the healing process, as post-operative swelling typically takes longer to fully resolve (2+ years) with thick skinned patients.
Patients of African heritage commonly seek rhinoplasty to address a low and flat nasal bridge, a wide and flat nasal tip and wide nostrils. Thicker skin is also a feature common to the African nose.
In African rhinoplasty, supplemental cartilage grafts are often utilized to build the height of the nasal bridge and increase tip projection and definition. The nostril size and overall width of the nose can be reduced to improve harmony with the newly reconstructed nasal tip.
HISPANIC / LATINO RHINOPLASTY
Los Angeles County and Orange County are known to have a vast Hispanic and Latino population. Ethnicities include Mexican, Central American, South American, Castilian and Puerto Rican. The key to Hispanic rhinoplasty is having an in-depth understanding of the different subsets of Hispanic noses. For example, Latinos from the Caribbean or South America commonly have wide nostrils and a wider bridge than most Hispanic noses. The Mexican nose commonly has a flat and weakly supported nasal tip. Most Hispanic noses have thicker and oily skin, which is an important consideration when discussing the limits of size reduction and expectations for the post-operative healing process.