In common terms, rhinoplasty is a procedure of reshaping or reforming the nose of a person. Whereas ethnic rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure for refining the nose of various persons belonging to different ethnic heritages such as African, American, Hispanic, Asian and middle- eastern. The ultimate goal of ethnic rhinoplasty is to give a shape to the nose in order to harmonize with patient’s other features while all maintaining and respecting the patient’s heritage. Rhinoplasty either enhances a nose to give it more definition or reduces the shape of nose, which results in giving perfect finish to the nose.
Common characteristics of ethnic noses include wider bridge, lack of tip and bridge definition, are generally flatter, have thicker skin with abundant fatty tissue in the tip. The thick skin and weak cartilage in the tip are a major factor for bulbous nose.
For the people with non-Caucasian, rhinoplasty surgery can be challenging. It is most important to understand the patient’s needs and desires before approaching a non white person. A rhinoplasty surgeon while communicating with the patient should explicitly ask the patient his aspirations from this nose job and should take down all the details including whether he wishes to maintain nasal features of their ethnic heritage or he or she wants a nose that tries to conform to the norms of white nose. Those ethnic patients who wish to have white nose, should be made to understand by the surgeon that this type of nose will or may not be in consonance with the rest of their facial features.
Different ethnicities require different techniques of rhinoplasty. Noses in African American patients often require building up (augmenting) the nasal bridge and narrowing the nostril base via alar base resection. It also involves elimination of wedge shaped piece of tissue where nostril walls meet the cheeks. The results have shown that nose doesn’t appear wide from the front.
The goal of Asian patients seeking rhinoplasty is usually totally opposite than that of Caucasian nose. The goal is often to make the nose larger. The tip of Asian nose is naturally less defined with less projection than the Caucasian nose. It is important to have a surgeon who is skilled in unique needs of Asian patient so as to not perform “Caucasian rhinoplasty” on an Asian face. Surgeons unfamiliar with Asian rhinoplasty techniques may perform a Caucasian rhinoplasty on an Asian nose, removing tissue from the tip to narrow and sharpen it. In the Caucasian rhinoplasty cartilage is often manipulated into the right shape. But this does not produce the best result in Asian nose with weaker tip cartilage.
Reductive techniques are usually applied on Hispanic and middle-eastern noses. This type of technique involves removal of bone and cartilage in order to give a more subtle appearance to nose. It also includes hump removal, tip refinement (narrowing of the tip) and tip reshaping.
Hence, it becomes important to choose an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon for best results. Only an expert can understand your needs and aspirations properly. Not all cosmetic surgeons are well versed in techniques required to obtain desirable results.
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