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Ethnic Rhinoplasty

One of the great things about San Antonio is the various different ethnic backgrounds of our citizens. Many Asians, Hispanics and African Americans also are interested in rhinoplasties. However, a lot of information or public perception of rhinoplasties is still focused on the Caucasian nose. In the past, non white patients electing a rhinoplasty would get a surgery that changed their features to a Caucasian nose. Though the nose may look like a pointed upturned nose, there was the possibility that it didn’t match the patient’s face.

As the world has become smaller due to advances in transportation and communications, so has the appreciation of each individual ethnic beauty increased. Today, patients are no longer seeking a Western Caucasian nose. Rather, they want to improve their nasal appearance, but yet still look like their ethnic background. The new nose needs to look good and balance their facial features.

Ethnicity is a Medical Factor

There are certain differences among the different ethnic backgrounds. These factors must be factored into the surgical counseling and planning. Though there are differences between the various ethnicities, there are some universal nasal deformities that no culture likes. For example, a dorsal hump is not attractive in any culture. It’s common for different ethnic patients who have a dorsal hump to want a straight profile.

If you have a dorsal hump, then it’s very reasonable to want to fix this. And you can expect a good result that will make your nose look better, no matter your ethnicity. An overly bulbous or big nasal tip is also not attractive. In this scenario, your ethnicity affects what can be achieved. For example, Asians tend to have weaker lower lateral cartilages.

African Americans and some Hispanics may have very thick skin. This will make it harder to achieve significant tip changes and definition. Cartilage grafts may be needed to –counterintuitively—build a bigger nose. The idea is to stretch the skin. Bear in mind, this is not a universal application. Every nose is different and must be evaluated carefully.

Another deformity that is commonly seen in Asians is a low dorsum. This is a natural finding, but even in Asian cultures, a strong bridge is considered attractive. In this scenario, a dorsal implant or augmenting your dorsum with cartilage grafts are options. Silicone is not generally recommended for nasal implants.

Silicone Nasal Implants

However, for some reason, silicone implants usually work very well in Asians. This may explain why silicone implants are still widely used in Asia without significant problems. Using your own rib cartilage is an option, but I believe this exposes you to more risk than ideal for a cosmetic case. In my opinion, with silicone’s good track record for Asians, I still favor silicone implants to augment an Asian nose’s profile.

If you don’t want silicone, I recommend a cadaveric rib cartilage grafts. These have been used extensively in orthopedic surgery and oral surgery with no major problems. Cadaveric rib cartilage infection rates and warping are not significantly different compared to one’s own cartilage. There may be a very slight increased risk of resorption when compared to your own cartilage. Many Southeastern Asians and African Americans also tend to have wider alar bases. This can be maintained if the patient wants to maintain more of their ethnic look, or can be narrowed conservatively.

Ethnic rhinoplasties are performed in the same manner as in Caucasians. Open and closed approaches are both valid. Like I said earlier, the key difference relates to the anatomic differences and degree of change desired. Postoperative recovery and wound are the same. If a hump reduction or profile augmentation is requested, the new appearance can usually be seen fairly soon—at one week to one month. Tip changes need to wait at least a year before we assess the final results.

For more information about rhinoplasty near San Antonio contact Dr. Kenneth Yu Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. We are a qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please call our Concierge Patient Coordinator at (210) 876-6868 today.