Rhinoplasty For Different Ethnicities

Rhinoplasty For Different Ethnicities

Since many years ago, rhinoplasty has been an option. However, obtaining a satisfactory result can be difficult for individuals of color in the United States because best practices were created with the general facial features and aesthetic standards of Caucasians in mind, who make up the majority of patient demographics.

Rhinoplasty, sometimes known as a nose job, is regularly performed on about 74% of patients who are Caucasian. But a narrow, universal focus on the “American nose” fails to protect patients’ ethnic identities and ignores the wide variety of facial forms and traits present in modern culture. A patient who is African-American, Asian, Native American, or Middle Eastern may experience breathing problems and a higher likelihood of having additional or revisional surgery if Caucasian rhinoplasty criteria are applied to their face.

Ethnic rhinoplasty patients of color require the assistance of a plastic surgery team with experience in enhancing ethnic noses.

At The Seattle Rhinoplasty Center rhinoplasty surgery is a common reason for patient visits. The distinctive traits and objectives of each patient determine which ethnic rhinoplasty procedures will produce the best results. We can get a more harmonious appearance by paying attention to the angle between the forehead and the nose, the width of the nose, the form of the eyes, cheeks, and mouth.

ethnic rhinoplasty treatment types

Since the nose is likely the most noticeable facial feature, it is sense that people of all races frequently inspect it when they look in the mirror.

Bone and cartilage make up the nose’s basic framework and support the skin.
A nose may appear narrow, wide, flat, bulbous, or even rough if those components are not balanced in size and shape.

Patients have been known to send in pictures of famous people with the caption, “I want my nose to appear like this.”
It is unfair to base your expectations on someone else’s facial features because every person’s face is different.
Additionally, many surgeries are sometimes needed for significant changes, which is costly and carries a higher surgical risk.

One of the following procedures might be suggested by your plastic surgeon:

Augmentation (rearranging) is a frequent practice throughout all ethnic groups.
To balance the nose proportionality, we make small alterations to the angles and definition of specific parts rather than adding or subtracting from the nose.
By moving around cartilage, for instance:

making the area where the nostrils and nose bridge meet more defined or softer to give the appearance of a narrower tip.

Rotating or de-rotating the nose’s tip to increase or decrease the space between it and the lip.
This can balance out a prominent bridge and alter how far the nose seems to protrude out from the face.

Revision rhinoplasty: To improve or repair an earlier treatment, certain patients may benefit from revisional surgery. One of our specializations is revisional ethnic rhinoplasty, which involves a lot of skill to provide a successful end.Each operation leaves behind scar tissue, which about 10 times the complexity of the rhinoplasty in Seattle.

Reduction (taking away): Reducing the size of the nose physically by removing bone and cartilage from the supporting components.Previously projecting features are meant to be recessed into the rest of the face.Middle Eastern patients experience this more frequently.

Projection (adding to): Increasing the size of the nose by grafting cartilage from the patient’s ribs and/or septum to the base of the nose in areas where it is flatter.
The nose appears to be thinner, more beautiful, and more balanced when there is projection, which causes certain parts of the nose to protrude out further from the face.
Patients who are African-American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, or Hispanic are more likely to experience this.



Ethnic Nose Surgery

Common nose traits and procedures by ethnicity

Within each ethnic group there is a rich diversity of physical traits and facial shapes. There are also four common nose conditions or characteristics that lead patients to consider rhinoplasty.

Bulbous tip: The end of the nose is large and fleshy.
Flat or broad tip: The internal cartilages that creates the external appearance of the tip are splayed too far apart, leading to a wide tip.
Wide, narrow, or humped bridge: The bridge the nose is disproportionately large, narrow, or bumpy.

Breathing problems: Structural issues such as a deviated septum and/or a droopy tip can make it difficult to breathe.
African American

Nose characteristics: Weak internal structures combined with thick skin tend to create a less-defined tip of the nose that appears under-projected (broad and/or flat).
Procedures: Augmentation, projection.
What to expect: We can’t decrease skin thickness, so we work around that by increasing the projection of the rest of the nose and creating new angles and definitions to balance the overall shape. It’s an optical illusion that produces satisfying results without drastically changing the sensitive tissue in the tip of the nose.

Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native American

Nose characteristics: Thick skin, with a bridge that is often under-projected leads to both the bridge and the tip appearing wide and flat. Many have visible angles and definition at the tip of the nose.
Procedures: Augmentation, projection.
What to expect: By increasing the projection of the nose, we can create a more balanced look, with a gentle slope from forehead to tip rather than a flat bridge and flat tip.

Middle Eastern

Nose characteristics: Thick skin; over-projected; bulbous tip of the nose that complicates breathing, which is often paired with deviated septum – commonly seen in individuals with lineage from the Gulf Region of the Middle East. During maturation from child to adult, the skin of the nose does not expand as fast as the internal cartilages and bones, causing buckling of the septum (the middle wall of the nose). This leads to significant breathing difficulties.
Procedures: Augmentation, reduction.
What to expect: If the nose is small, we can project it to balance it out. However, if the nose is large, with a prominent bridge and tip, we must reduce it by removing cartilage and/or bone, then coordinate the proportions of all the features. However, the reduction often must be conservative because excessive reduction will lead to collapse of the nose and breathing difficulties.


Nose characteristics: Similar to Caucasians, Hispanic patients have a range of nasal features. Skin may be thin (Castillian/Spanish) or thick (especially in Mestizo patients with European and Native American lineage). Many have a wide bridge and bulbous tip, creating a flat, under-projected look.
Procedures: Augmentation, projection.
What to expect: Building up the less projected areas of the nose and changing the angles/definition of the tip of the nose can result in a more balanced, proportional look.

Recovery from rhinoplasty surgery surgery

Your recovery experience will depend on the extent of your procedure. Bruising and swelling of the face is common, and most patients return to normal activities within two to three weeks.

Most patients will not see a drastic change in the total size of their nose if measured in actual distances, but the improvement in looks is often dramatic. The subtleties of ethnic rhinoplasty create different angles and proportions, de-emphasizing the areas of your nose you disliked.

Before ethnic rhinoplasty , we take time to discuss your goals and set realistic expectations. We want you to be satisfied, and a big part of that involves understanding what’s possible and what to expect. Your facial features represent your cultural heritage. We can help you achieve a look that meets – or even exceeds – your expectations, but ultimately we want you to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Seattle facial plastic surgeon Dr. William Portuese

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