How is Rhinoplasty in Hispanic Patients Different Than in Other Patients?

I've read in other places on this site that rhinoplasty surgery is different for certain ethnicities so I'm wondering, is rhinoplasty surgery different for Hispanic patients too?

Doctor Answers 19

Hispanic Rhinoplasty is Different

You are right: many ethnicities pose specific factors that are important in Rhinoplasty:

  • aesthetics and ethnic identity may be related
  • thickness of skin: Hispanic skin tends to be thicker, so refinements are limited
  • nostril shape and size is an important element in shaping and balancing the nose; techniques to change the nostrils are limited or come with specific trade-offs
  • support framework: the cartilage can be less able to support the skin in a way that lets the surgeon carve detail and angles into the nasal appearance
  • skeletal structure: the nose has to fit the face, and the skeletal structure of the facial bones will affect the outcome

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Your rhinoplasty surgery should focus on your personal nasal features

As would be expected with any ethnic population, we have found that there is a continuum of nasal features in our Hispanic population, rather than distinct types. Rather than trying to categorize various subgroups, here at Profiles we focus on your individual characteristics and your goals.

In general, we have found that our Hispanic patients’ facial and nasal characteristics can be differentiated from our Caucasian patients in the following ways:

  1. Broader faces, commonly with prominent cheek bones and a relatively small nose
  2. A slightly small chin
  3. A nasal hump
  4. Wider nostrils
  5. Wider and lower nasal bridge
  6. Moderately thick, sebaceous skin

So what does this mean to you? It means that it is important for you to work with surgeons who will take the time to understand what you are trying to achieve and who are comfortable in dealing with different ethnic populations. We take these differences in anatomic and structural components into consideration in planning your surgery and in explaining to you, what can be accomplished with your surgery.

During your consultation we will work together to define what your goals are using computer imaging. Based on your desires and your individual anatomy, we will then devise a surgical plan which is best suited to achieve your individual goals.

Jason Litner, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

In general, my Hispanic patients tend to have thicker,...

In general, my Hispanic patients tend to have thicker, oilier skin. Also, their noses tend to be flatter and broader.

If the bridge of the nose needs building up, then grafting material (cartilage, bone, silicone, medpore) is used. Tip grafts are usually necessary to provide tip definition. Finally, the base of the nostrils is often narrowed to balance off the other features of the nose.

With all this said, it is important to refine the nose without losing one's ethnicity.

Manish H. Shah, MD, FACS
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Hispanic Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is an operation that seeks to refine and improve upon the balance between a patient's nose and face. Certain aspects of the operation can be individualized based upon a patient's desires and what would look best on the person. Hispanic Rhinoplasty is no exception.

Rhinoplasty in Hispanic patients is as diverse as it is in the rest of the world's populations. A significant reason for this is that most Latin populations are very multicultural. Historically, many different groups have become integrated into Hispanic populations. Consequently, a typical Latin nose from Central America is not likely to be typical in South America, Europe, or the Carribean islands. A nose typical for a specific geographic region can also be difficult to define.

However, most Hispanic patients seeking Rhinoplasty are looking for the same things that non-Hispanic patients want:

  • Narrower nose
  • Straighter profile
  • Narrower nostrils

While achieving these outcomes may require more steps than the typical non-Hispanic Rhinoplasty patient, the techniques used are ones that are commonly needed in other ethnicities.

Many Hispanic patients will require nasal tip narrowing and limited grafting to provide more strength to a droopy tip. A more refined tip can be achieved using additional tip grafts, which are especially important in women with thicker skin types and thin, long faces. This graft is typically not used in men, patients with thin skin, or those with rounder faces.

Nostril narrowing can be achieved with different techniques, depending on how much narrowing is appropriate for a given patient.

Some patients with flatter noses will benefit from a small graft to add height to the bridge of the nose. This helps to create the appearance of narrowing in patients with shallow nasal bones. These grafts can be taken from the nasal septum, especially if nasal obstruction is being corrected.

Turbinate surgery is often also required if comprehensive airway correction is needed.

Richard W. Westreich, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Hispanic Rhinoplasty (nose job)

Of course this is a generalization but certain ethnicities may have a tendency for patterns of anatomic characteristics that lend themselves to specific techniques. The hispanic culture can vary tremendously in the skin pigmentation, thickness, sebacesous quality as well as the presence of a prominent nasal bridge or lack thereof as well as quality and shape of the tip cartilages and width of the nostrils. All of these play a role in shaping which operation will achieve the desired results

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Hispanic rhinoplasty is different for many reasons

Here's a list of why hispanic rhinoplasty is different.

1.  Thicker skin envelope

2.  Weaker cartilage

3.  Skin envelope has more sebaceous skin

4. Craniofacial skeleton normally has more fullness along pre-maxilla

This is just a quick list.  These variables have to be accounted for to get a good result that is harmonious and in balance with the rest of the face.

Raghu Athre, MD
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Hispanic Rhinoplasty

Surgeons who perform Hispanic rhinoplasty must understand the anatomic and aesthetic differences.  Anatomically, Hispanic patients have a wide variety of skin types and nasal shapes, which may or may not include thicker skin and softer tip cartilages.  Aesthetically, Hispanic patients have a wide range of likes which includes some desiring a more stylized nose versus others wanting a more natural appearance.  I find computer imaging effective to help communicate different looks depending on how the desired postoperative appearance.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Rhinoplasty in Hispanic Patients

Definitely each ethnicity has different characteristics. Once upon a time surgeons were trained to view the Caucasian aesthetic as the ideal look when performing a rhinoplasty. However, over time that training has evolved, and instead of a “one size fits all” mentality, surgeons now try to create an ideal that fits the individual, rather than the masses.

The goal usually is to achieve an aesthetic that is pleasing to the patient without diminishing ethnic traits, and respecting each person’s individuality and facial harmony. With Hispanic patients, there is often a bit of extra tissue on the dorsum (ridge) of the nose, or a lack of bone in the upper part of the nose (the nasion or bridge area).

A board certified plastic surgeon experienced in rhinoplasty will be able to identify and explain clearly to you the particular ethnic features of your nose, and how they would be addressed with rhinoplasty while still maintaining your look.

Scott W. Mosser, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ethnic Rhinoplasty

The goal of “ethnic rhinoplasty” is to refine the nose and achieve an optimal, natural aesthetic result without diminishing all traits of ethnicity. In the past, plastic surgeons were trained to have a very narrow, homogenized perception of beauty that was based on the Caucasian ideal. A “one-size fits all” attitude was applied to rhinoplasty where nearly the same operation was performed on each patient seeking rhinoplasty. Now, doctors, patients, and current culture in general have a more global concept of beauty without one true “ideal;” rather, facial harmony, individuality, and symmetry are most-valued.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Rhinoplasty is tailored to the patient areas of concern

Rhinplasty has traditionally been divided into Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Arabic, South Asian.  The surgeon should be familiar with the most common requests based on Ethnicity, but it is more important for the surgeon to know how to achieve a balanced nose in each patient based on the specific diagnosis.  The surgeon should be comfortable working with all patients.

Robert Mounsey, MD
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 11 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.