One of the reasons that rhinoplasty is challenging is the huge variability of noses within the human race. Noses do, however, fall into different groupings based on shared features. For example, noses within a given race are more likely to resemble one another than noses from different races. Of course, we cannot over-generalize this pattern, as people within one race can still look quite different from one another. But it is helpful to have an approach for a certain type of nose, especially if these individuals frequently seek rhinoplasty.
One example of this is the Asian nose. Many Asians (not all) have noses that are flatter, lower at the bridge, rounder at the tip and wider at the nostrils and base than Caucasian or European noses. Asian rhinoplasty patients frequently come to see me seeking surgery to create “more definition” through elevation of the bridge and refinement of the tip. Most Asian rhinoplasty patients benefit from a combination of adding projection (or height) to the bridge and shaping of the tip and base to achieve an excellent outcome.
The projection (or height) of the bridge is important in determining how much definition the nose has. A low, flat bridge does not project enough from the face to create a shadow along the nasal side-walls. There is no distinction between the front and sides of the bridge which causes the nose to look poorly defined, or washed-out, or flat. Adding projection or height to bridge is one of the most important steps in Asian rhinoplasty, but it must be done thoughtfully, precisely, and safely. In the next blog, I will discuss more details of elevating the bridge, i.e. dorsal augmentation, in the Asian rhinoplasty patient.