There are many traits specific to the world’s Asian population, and perhaps most notable among them are the features of the face. An Asian person’s delicately shaped eyes are contoured with a characteristic that is specific to Central and Eastern Asia, called the epicanthal fold. This thin layer of skin, which is named for the canthus or the corner of the eye nearest to the nose, is one aspect of Asian anatomy that distinguishes members of this ethnicity from others.
During an Asian rhinoplasty, many patients request the addition of height to the bridge of the nose. This can improve the look of a flat or wide nose and also augment the profile from a side view. There are a number of ways to add tissues to the nose, one of which is to use a Gore-Tex implant, also known as the material polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
There are many similarities in the appearance of the nose among those of Asian ethnicity, and a main similarity includes a rounded or bulbous nasal tip. Some feel that slight variation in the tip of the nose would add interest to the face, while creating definition to the end of the nose. Though this is a possible correction, the thick skin of the nose in Asian patients can require additional steps during the Asian rhinoplasty procedure.
One objective in Asian rhinoplasty is to elongate the tip of the nose so that it lies further away from the face. During surgery, the projection of the nose from a side or profile view is increased which can also add definition to the nasal tip and even make the nose appear narrower when viewed straight on. The nose that was once short and broad can be transformed to a longer, leaner version of the feature.
The Postoperative Course in Asian Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is a common, yet complicated surgery. Even a skilled facial plastic surgeon such as Dr. Nassif cannot always predict the ways in which the nose will heal. During an Asian rhinoplasty, the nose is often altered in similar ways as other ethnic patients. In comparison with a typical Caucasian rhinoplasty, the Asian nose is often increased in prominence during surgery rather than reduced in size. This is often achieved by adding some material to the Asian patient’s nose, while Caucasians and other patients commonly require tissues to be removed so the nose can be refined in size and shape.
Asian rhinoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that caters to a specific set of individuals with specific facial anatomies. Due to geographic location or origin, Asian patients have unique structures and features. Most notable are the eyes and nose which, perhaps not coincidentally, account for the two features most commonly altered with cosmetic surgery. Patients often explain to Dr. Nassif that they do not wish to appear less Asian and more Caucasian; they simply want to look like an improved version of themselves.
Complications in Asian Rhinoplasty
Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed today. Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals undergo successful rhinoplasty procedures and find not only an improved appearance but increased self-confidence as well. Unfortunately, as one of the most complicated plastic surgery procedures to perform, rhinoplasty does have a fairly high revision rate compared to other procedures, with some estimates placing the average revision rate at around 10-15%. Revision rates are generally higher with less experienced surgeons and lower with more skilled surgeons, and this is particularly true when it comes to ethnic rhinoplasty.
Implants in Asian Rhinoplasty
Though popular in Asian countries, synthetic implants are not always the most suitable option for raising the height of a patient’s nasal bridge during an Asian rhinoplasty. This surgical technique may attract patients who seek a less-costly option as well as less time spent in surgery; however, there are drawbacks to this form of augmentation. There can be a shift in placement even after the material has been secured inside the nose, and the body may reject the substance of which the constituent elements are composed. A preferred method of augmentation involves the patient-derived implant of diced cartilage wrapped in fascia. In Asian patients, this can be used to add height to the bridge of the nose.
Requests of Asian Rhinoplasty Patients
Patients seeking rhinoplasty surgery to reshape the nose from a traditional Asian form to a more Caucasian-inspired feature may have unrealistic expectations for the transformation. As requested, patients bring to Dr. Nassif’s Beverly Hills practice photographs of their ideal nose. Sometimes these pictures may be of celebrities, and other times they may be of other patients who have undergone one or multiple plastic surgeries of the nose. Often times, those seeking an Asian rhinoplasty reveal they would like very thin nasal bridges and overly refined nasal tips. They seek drastic changes that will make the face appear less “ethnic”. However, the goal for Asian rhinoplasty today is not to become westernized in appearance, but to refine and improve upon the nose while maintaining the patient’s ethnic identity.
Asians and Caucasians often have, among many other differences characteristic of each race, dissimilar noses. The historical significance of the differences in this feature is tied to the regions in which each ancestry originated. The Asian race began in warmer climates with high levels of humidity while Caucasian ancestry traces people back to colder regions of the world with dry air. The nose is designed to not only filter particles from the air that should not reach the lungs, but it also warms the air intake while simultaneously adding moisture to it. The Asian nose evolved in a way that was conducive to the climate in the Eastern region of the world. It was not essential for this feature to warm or humidify air that already possessed both of these characteristics; however, Caucasian noses had a larger job to perform, thus the inherited larger size.