Nose Surgery to Fix Thick and Round African American Nose?

I have a somewhat average nose for an African American. However, it is very round at the tip. I really don't like it cause makes my nose look huge!

The skin of my nose feels very thick, thicker than the average nose. I have been researching and was wondering what kind of procedure would be for taking the "extra thick roundness" out of my nose?

Doctor Answers 6

African-American noses for rhinoplasty require special techniques.

Reducing the thickness in the nasal tip skin can be only one part of rhinoplasty to change the appearance of a bulbous tip in the African-American patient or any rhinoplasty patient with thick nasal tip skin.

Thick nasal skin can be thinned in some instances to reveal underlying nasal tip cartilages that are beautifully shaped. This can be, but rarely IS, the only thing that must technically be done to refine a bulbous, thick-skinned nasal tip. Most often one must refine and strengthen the tip cartilage complex in some way using shaping and grafting and suturing techniques in order to support the skin, even when it has been thinned.

A plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty (many hundreds of rhinoplasty cases, leader in the field of academic and cosmetic rhinoplasty as noted not only by peers and publications, but by patients) will be able to evaluate your nasal tip and in great detail describe what the best technique for you would be. The Rhinoplasty Society, related groups to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, is a Society where one can not just join, but must peer review and meet certain criteria before being invited in. I have been part of this group since its conception and will be happy to help you find a capable surgeon in your area.

There are some cases of a disease which thickens the skin of the nose, but as you have not mentioned that, then there is some technique that will be applicable to help you have a thinner skinned nasal tip.

I might add, however, that changes in a medium thickness skinned nose, take up to 1.5 years to show the planned outcome. This time frame can be lengthened for someone who has a thick skinned nose. Therefore, patience for attaining final pleasure is as necessary a component as is finding a qualified surgeon.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Make sure you see a rhinoplasty expert.

 You can have the skin thinned witch is the major problem in African-American noses. The tip will also need more definition from cartilage grafts to project the tip once the skin is thinned. See a rhinoplasty specialist who does a large number of natural looking  African-American noses.


Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

For African-American rhinoplasty, look for an experienced specialist

Rhinoplasty should be possible in your case, although thicker skin always presents more of a challenge when undergoing rhinoplasty surgery to try to create a thinner or smaller nose. Therefore, the most important factor is to choose a facial plastic surgeon that has experience and a solid reputation for achieving great results with American-American rhinoplasty. You should ask to see other patient before and after photos in your consultation.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 148 reviews

Rhinoplasty techniques to decrease round African American nose

With regards to an African American ethnic nose, the tip cartilages tend to be very wide, thick, and protuberant. Removal and sculpting of the nasal tip cartilages is performed, along with suturing the domes of the lower lateral cartilages in the tip to create a more feminized and refined look, while still maintaining the ethnic nose. Suture techniques are used to narrow a broad, flat nose to bring it more into balance with the facial features. Further rhinoplasty technique such as osteotomies, will remove a large bump and structural cartilage grafts all add to create a very natural result.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty and Ethnic Rhinoplasty: Choose the Right Surgeon

African American Rhinoplasty typically involves narrowing a wide nose. The nose can be wide across the tip, across, the bridge, and wide from nostril to nostril. For the nose to appear natural, usually the nose must be reduced proportionally.

Narrowing a broad tip is an important part ot African American Rhinoplasty. The lower lateral cartilages (tip cartilages) can be trimmed and reshaped either with sutures or with grafts to relieve the excess curvature.

Nostril reduction surgery (called Alarplasty / Alar Base Reduction) is a procedure that can narrow the width of the nostril base, decrease the amount of nostril flaring, or decrease the size of the nostrils. The incisions are placed in the crease where the nostril wall meets the cheek. When performed correctly, the scar is hidden in the "new" crease where the nostril meets the cheek. The incisions can remain red for several weeks, but generally heal very well and are not noticable after that time.

To get a better understanding of what your nose would look like after surgery, your prospective rhinoplasty surgeon should be able to show you before and after computer simulations. Many rhinoplasty surgeons use computer imaging, and recently 3D rhinoplasty imaging has become available. This allows patients to preview how their nose might look after surgery from any angle.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 146 reviews

African American Noses have special features

All noses are different, this applies to many different African American noses as well. Generally, when patients have thick skin and thin weak cartilages (these usually go together), such as in a typical African Amercian Nose, we do the opposite of what is done on Caucasian noses. In patients with thin skin and strong cartilages, carving the tip cartilage and using sutures is usually enough to get a fine sculpted tip.

In African American noses, we do the opposoite. Removing cartilage alone will make the tip softer and even more round. Instead we add strength by using a strut of your own cartilage to strengthen the tip of the nose. Then a graft called a shield graft is used to press into the thick skin to create definition and the appearance of a smaller tip. The skin can be thinned as well, but the key is really grafting and strength. Remember, natural is also what we strive for.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

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.