Every person has a slightly different anatomical facial structure, especially around the nose. The underlying nasal bone structure, however, does create shared facial features among different ethnicities. The similarity in these nasal features results in a few common requests among Asian rhinoplasty patients.
Nasal Characteristics in the Asian Culture
It’s important for an ethnic rhinoplasty surgeon to recognize that there are important distinctions between Caucasian noses and noses of other ethnicities. Asian noses have a much broader overall shape compared to Caucasian noses. They also lie flatter on the face due to a lower nasal bridge, creating a lack of definition and a nose that blends in with the rest of the face. The nasal tip is usually rounder than Caucasian noses, which tend to be more pointed. The alar nasal base is also wider, which creates wider nostrils that are prone to flaring.
Other features among Asians patients that are important for an ethnic rhinoplasty surgeon to be aware of are the internal cartilage strength and the thickness of the skin around the nose. Asians tend to have weaker cartilage that makes it difficult to provide structural support for the nose before and after surgery. They are also prone to having thicker, oilier skin. This creates more weight on the internal cartilage and can be hard to alter or move around during the surgery.
Narrowing the Nose
The broad, general idea behind the most common requests from Asian rhinoplasty patients is narrowing the nose and creating more projection from the face. Because Asians have a naturally flat nose, the additional projection combined with a narrower nose creates more character in the face as a whole.
There are three major ways that surgeons can create this big picture ideal for their Asian patients: nasal bridge augmentation, nasal tip refinement, and alar base reduction. Raising the nasal bridge creates shadowing along the sides of the nose, giving the nose greater definition. Reshaping the nasal tip is a tricky balancing act; because Asians have a naturally round tip, creating a pointy tip does not remain true to the Asian cultural features. When refining the nasal tip, surgeons will need to keep the overall round shape while still creating more projection and refinement. This is usually done using implants and in conjunction with the alar base reduction, which further narrows the entire shape of the nose by making the nostrils smaller.
Now, not every patient or even every Asian subculture wants to have the exact same cookie cutter nose. Some only want the nasal bridge raised while others only have a problem with wide nostrils. The importance of doctor-patient communication cannot be overemphasized enough during the consultation. It’s there that the patient is able to clearly state what they would like and the doctor is able to get an understanding of the patient’s facial structure and determine if their goals are feasible.
Choose the Expert
Because every patient is slightly different and Asian facial structures are unique to the culture, it’s best to have an Asian rhinoplasty specialist for your surgery. Dr. Paul Nassif of Beverly Hills is widely regarded as one of the top rhinoplasty experts in the world. He specializes in Asian rhinoplasty, is board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and has been featured in several media outlets, including “Dr. 90210,” E!’s “Botched,”People magazine, and the Wall Street Journal.
To schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Nassif, contact our office at (310) 275-2467. For those out-of-town patients who would still like to talk with our rhinoplasty specialist, consultations may be conducted online through Skype or Virtual Consultation.