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 21

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 11 reviews

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 147 reviews

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
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews


I think it is very important to respect the ethnicity of the person undergoing surgery.  My best rhinoplasty results, in my opinion, are those where I have refined, rather than revise, the shape of the nose.  Cartilage repositioning and the use of small grafts and sutures are very successful techniques.

Marisa Lawrence, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Natural Ethnicity

Your question gets to the heart of all rhinoplasty surgery!  A good facial plastic surgeon should always aim to give you a natural looking result, and this mean taking ethnic identity into consideration.  Many African Americans would like some augmentation of the nasal dorsum, tip projection and narrowing of the ala.  This can be done in a moderate way (not extremely narrow!) so that it appears improved, but still blends with the face.Find someone with experience in "ethnic rhinoplasty."  That isn't a great term, but its what textbooks have called rhinoplasty on people who don't have caucasian noses and a good way to search for doctors.Best of luck,Dr Rodman

Regina Rodman, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Natural African American Rhinoplasty

What a great smile!! Yes there are ways to create a beautiful, natural ethnically appropriate nose. Make sure your rhinoplasty surgeon uses a computer imager to visually show you some possibilities, this helps you both understand the goals of your specific procedure.

Brian Maloney, MD, FACS
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 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.