Ethnic rhinoplasty generally refers to rhinoplasty performed on a patient who is not Caucasian. But because each ethnicity has its own set of nasal characteristics, performing nose surgery on a non-Caucasian patient isn’t a matter of taking the “normal” procedure and “balancing” it with ethnic features. Instead, in many cases the procedure is entirely different.
“Ethnic” patients often have thicker skin, a flatter dorsum, a broader nasal base, a lower radix and shorter alar (lower lateral) cartilages. These cartilages are often “weak” as compared to the cartilage in Caucasian noses, and therefore must be treated differently.
The goal of any rhinoplasty procedure is to create harmony, symmetry, and ultimately, beauty. In ethnic patients, this typically means altering the nose and other features in such a way that the results sharpen and define the patient’s features in accordance with his or her facial proportions while preserving the patient’s ethnic characteristics. This frequently entails altering the following characteristics:
- Nasal pyramid
- Pyriform area
- Nasolabial angle
- Alveolar ridges
- Tip projection
- Alar base
Creating harmony between the nose and other features of the face must be undertaken on a case by case basis. Tools such as imaging software can be used to determine the right balance and harmony of an ethnic patient’s facial features.
Talk to your facial plastic surgeon to learn more about how he or she balances ethnic features when performing rhinoplasty.