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 24

Ethnic Rhinoplasty

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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

Rhinoplasty: Preserving ethnic characteristics

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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 145 reviews

Find a surgeon who individualizes the procedure for each patient

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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.

Specialist in African-American Rhinoplasty

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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 45 reviews

Ethnic Rhinoplasty for African American Patients

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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 149 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty Can Result in a More Natural Ethnic Look

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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 39 reviews

All rhinoplasties are not the same

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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 155 reviews

Natural results with cartilage grafts

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In general, the African-American nose is flat, wide and short relative to the Caucasian nose while the skin is thicker and the cartilages are weaker. The goal in African-American rhinoplasty should never be to anglicize the nose, it should be to harmonize the nose to the rest of the face. Also, because of the quality of the skin and the cartilages many special graft will be necessary to get the desires results. Your concerns are typical and a soft cartilage graft over the bridge with give height and improve your profile (and make your nose look narrower from the front). You will need a firm graft for the tip to give it more support - that will present your nose from collapsing and widening when you smile. 

Hope this answer helps,

Mehdi Sina, MD

Mehdi Sina, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon


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For African american noses, the strategy is to add to the nose. We often uses cartilage obtained from ears or ribs to build up the bridge, and lengthen and refine the tip. It has to be done to look natural. The operated on look is not desired and does not look beautiful. There are surgeons who use a split calverial bone grafts for augmentation but rib cartilage is more common. Even using cartilage, there are several techniques to place it. A consultation is very helpful in communicating your goals. 

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

African-American rhinoplasty

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Surgery should be customized to your personal needs and your desires.  For many African-American patient's the goals include nostril reduction, enhancement of the bridge, or nasal dorsum, and some form of increased tip projection.  Some doctors prefer using implants to improve the tip and bridge of the nose, but in my practice I recommend using autologous tissue like septal or ear cartilage.  Sometimes, the results with autologous cartilage are more natural in my opinion and tend to be more durable - this is because there is a much lower risk of infection or extrusion when you use your own native tissue.  Discussed her case with the specialist and perhaps consider a second opinion as well, prior to making a final decision.  Best of luck.

Kapil Saigal, MD, FACS
Winter Park Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 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.