Is sucking in my nose by inhaling a good indicator of how narrow my nose can be made in African American rhinoplasty? (Photo)

I want my bridge built very high, nostrils narrowed and tip to have less bulge. I don't want an open procedure so I've chosen a surgeon who does only closed procedures and many ethic noses. I haven't gone in for a consult with him but I have with other surgeons who gave me simulations. Some showed big differences and others not so much. I was also told my Steven Deneberg that my skin is too thick and I wouldn't see any results with a rhinoplasty. How does sucking in compare to simulations?

Doctor Answers 4


I would say, "No", it is not a great way to predict. It narrows the upper lateral cartilage area, not the bone. Closed is certainly fine in you provided it is, of course, done skillfully. Your most important maneuver will be to raise the dorsum. This will change your profile and give an illusion of narrowing the nose. Your tip, while large, is not super-large, so can be altered predictably through a closed technique. Lastly, alar reduction should complete the change. Good luck!

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

African American closed rhinoplasty

Thick skin can be an impediment seeing a very refined result in an African American rhinoplasty. Osteotomies of the nasal bones are performed to narrow the bridge line.  Suture techniques to the lower lateral cartilages can narrow the tip with some limitations regarding thick skin. An alar plasty can narrow wide nostrils.

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

African American Rhinoplasty

I don't believe that inhaling forcefully to collapse the alae does a great job of approximating what surgery can do although it make de-emphasize the width of the alae. There are many highly respected nasal surgeons who favor the closed approach to Rhinoplasty. As long as he/she has convinced you that they can accomplish what you are looking for then you are more likely to be satisfied with the results. Many of us favor the open approach when significant building up of the nose is indicated. It seems like he is very experienced so hopefully this will not be an issue. Best of luck  Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Is sucking in my nose by inhaling a good indicator of how narrow my nose can be made in African American rhinoplasty? (Photo)

Thank you for your question.  Sucking in your nose is not an indication of what can be achieved with a rhinoplasty.  I have to agree with the doctor who gave you the information you alluded to.  You have a very thick-skin nose, so you cannot expect much change in the tip area.  As for the bridge, we don't have a profile view, so I cannot tell whether you will benefit from a dorsal enhancement, but if your bridge is very low, which it often is in African/American noses, that is one thing that can be corrected by either your own cartilage or an allograft cartilage.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.