Rhinoplasty has long been one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. In fact, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, rhinoplasty was the most requested procedure in 2012, with their member surgeons performing a total of 40,298 rhinoplasty procedures that year. Also according to the report, AAFPRS member surgeons saw an increase in their practice among patients of Asian American, Hispanic and African American descent, with Asian American patients being most likely to receive rhinoplasty or blepharoplasty.
The nose is the most prominent feature on the face and it often has characteristics that we associate with one’s ethnicity. While all noses are unique, patients of Asian descent often have common features. The Asian nose commonly appears short and flat. It tends to be wider and it projects less than the typical Caucasian nose. The nasal bridge is often lower and the dorsum is sometimes convex, particularly in patients of Japanese descent. The nasal tip is often round or bulbous with a wide nasal base. Alar flaring is also sometimes seen. Asians also tend to have thicker skin which must be taken into account during surgery in order to achieve a desirable result.
Common Rhinoplasty Requests in Asians
Unlike a typical Western nose, Asians most often require augmentation rather than reduction. Augmentation can be achieved using implants made of silicone or Gore-Tex, and this is a popular treatment approach in Asian countries. However, many surgeons, particularly those in the U.S., prefer to use a patient’s own cartilage or bone grafts when possible.
Many changes can be made to the Asian nose during rhinoplasty. The following are some of the more common changes made:
- Augment the dorsum to build up a flat or convex nasal bridge
- Lengthen the nose to address a short appearance
- Narrow the base of the nostrils
- Refine the nasal tip to improve a bulbous appearance
- Improve tip projection
- Reduce flared nostrils with alar reduction
Asian Rhinoplasty – The Surgery
As with other forms of rhinoplasty, Asian rhinoplasty creates a more pleasing appearance to the nose by removing or reshaping portions of the underlying cartilage and bone. Fracturing the nasal bones is often not required. For this reason, Asian rhinoplasty procedures can often be performed with twilight anesthesia, or IV sedation. A closed approach can often be used in which all incisions are confined to the inside of the nose. This means that no visible scarring results. In some cases, an open approach may be necessary and for this a small incision is made on the underside of the nose between the nostrils. Surgical times average one to two hours.
Natural Ethnic Rhinoplasty
In the past, ethnic rhinoplasty often sought to create a more “Western” appearance in the ethnic nose. Today, however, ethnic rhinoplasty aims to create a more refined nose that enhances the individual’s features while still retaining the sense of ethnicity. No longer is the goal to create a Westernized look; in truth, creating a western appearing nose on an Asian rhinoplasty patient can appear unnatural.
Dr. Paul Nassif is a renowned facial plastic surgeon and rhinoplasty expert with extensive experience in Asian Rhinoplasty. He is considered by many to be the best in Asian rhinoplasty in Los Angeles. To schedule a consultation, call (888) 385-0066.