Can African American Rhinoplasty Be Achieved with a More Nautral Ethnic Look?

I am an African American women and I wonder if doctors can recontruct more cartiladge than bone. I have seen many rhinoplasty and they seem to always narrow the nose in such an unnautral way. I saw somewhere that they can put an s shaped implant to build the bridge up. My concerns are my profile and the flatting of my nose when I smile.

Doctor Answers 18

Ethnic Rhinoplasty


When rhinoplasty is performed today, ethnic variations should be considered and preserved.  Let's face it, a Caucasian nose does not look natural on an Asian individual.  What is crucial is to find a surgeon with experience in African-American rhinoplasty.  Not only is every nose different, every ethnicity is different.  In general, I am not a fan of nasal implants.  Your body recognizes this material as foreign.  This can work out perfectly, or it can lead to scarring and/or implant extrusion.  The best tissue is your own tissue.  If you need nasal augmentation, your own cartilage (obtained from your nasal septum or ear) will usually work well.  Above all, find someone who routinely achieves the results that your seek.  The best referral is a personal referral.  Next, check credentails and the state medical board licence records.  Finally, go with your gut.  Best of luck! 

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

4060 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

Rhinoplasty: Preserving ethnic characteristics

There are a number of ways to strengthen a nasal tip, essentially working primarily on the cartilaginous portion of the nose. Other techniques can be utilized to further enhance the appearance of the nose, including nostril narrowing. The attached video shows an example of how ethnic characteristics can be preserved but aesthetic features achieved.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

6280 Sunset Drive
Miami, FL 33143

Find a surgeon who individualizes the procedure for each patient

This is a great question. The most important thing is to find a surgeon who individualizes the procedure for each patient. Many surgeons have one way they approach rhinoplasty which is centered more on the caucasian nose. However, many people want a nose that matches their face and fits into their culture, rather than someone's preconceived ideas.

Depending on the amount of cartilage and bone that you have, it may be possible to use your own tissue for the reconstruction. However, sometimes, it may be required to use a small implant to build up the bridge. All of these issues would need to be evaluated during your consultation.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022

Specialist in African-American Rhinoplasty

Your concerns are important. It is possible to reshape the nose and still preserve ethnic features.

It is important that you find a surgeon who is well experienced in Rhinoplasty for African Americans. Special skills and techniques are needed.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

2050 E County Line Rd
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

Rhinoplasty for African American patients

Yes, a surgery can be done such that the final nose has a nice, natural look. The surgeon must take care.

Normally the problems that need to be addressed include: generally the tip needs to be more defined, the nasal bones may be wide, and the actual nostrils may also be too wide. 

The tip can be raised with your own natural cartilage, and the base can be narrowed a bit with a permanent suture placed deep within the tissue. A slight reduction can be done of the nostrils and this is where care needs to be taken--if too much is removed it can make the nose look unnatural. 

Occasionally an implant can be placed on the nose. This would be used if the skin were very thick. Although an implant does have some risks associated with it.

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

490 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Ethnic Rhinoplasty for African American Patients

When approaching ethnic rhinoplasty patients, determining the preoperative goals and confirming the patient’s expectations is of paramount importance. The goals of ethnic rhinoplasty should therefore address the patient’s desire for preservation or alteration of ethnicity, balance of surrounding features, and adherence to patient desires.

It is possible to improve the appearance and proportion of the nose while preserving features of their ethnicity.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

8144 Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas, TX 75231

African American Rhinoplasty Can Result in a More Natural Ethnic Look

Hi Rod,

Yes, a natural ethnic result can, and should be achieved in African American rhinoplasty. You are correct in that augmentation of the nose with an implant via an external rhinoplasty approach would help to support the flattening of your nose when you smile, as well as building up the bridge of your nose.

It is most important to choose your rhinoplasty surgeon most carefully. In the Atlanta, Ga area, William Silver, MD has a very good reputation. Good luck and be well.

Dr. P

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

16311 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436

All rhinoplasties are not the same

This is a very good question, and the key issue is that principles of an African-American rhinoplasty is quite different than a caucasian rhinoplasty.

You can absolutely achieve a very natural result, but you want to find a surgeon who is experienced in rhinoplasties of all types. Ask him or her to describe in detail what they see when they analyze your nose, and what their plan is to improve it.

Also, ask to see before and after pictures, and this will give you a very good idea of their approach and whether or not it is what you're looking for!

Best of luck, Dr. S

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

1101 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104

Keeping a natural ethnic look

It's really important when looking for a facial plastic surgeon that you find one that has experience in African American Rhinoplasty and can show you before and after pictures of patients with similar ethnic backgrounds and the outcomes achieved. That being said, a properly trained and experienced rhinoplasty specialist should absolutely be able to come up with a surgical plan that both addresses your concerns and honors your ethnic heritage.

Cory Torgerson
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

70 Yorkville Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M5R 1B9

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.