Are There Surgeons Who Specialize in African American Rhinoplasty?

Are there surgeons who specialize in African American rhinoplasty? If so, how do I verify that they have a lot of experience with doing nose surgery on African Americans, or is it rude to ask?

Doctor Answers 34

Surgeons DO specialize in African American Rhinoplasty

Different rhinoplasty surgeons have different experiences.  And, although every nose is unique and should be addressed in a tailored fashion, some surgeons do specialize in African American rhinoplasty.  

Most African-American patients do not want to erase their heritage and identity. But, they may want to raise the bridge of a flat nose, narrow the nostrils of a wide nose, and/or enhance the profile of a nose that doesn't protrude adequately. It takes skill and sensitivity to achieve a cosmetic result that beautifies the face while respecting and preserving ethnicity. I have spent nearly 25 years doing just this.  In fact, I was quoted in a feature article in the New York Magazine for my expertise in ethnic rhinoplasty:  see below!

Indeed, there are technical challenges for a surgeon refining an ethnic nose that deserve special consideration:  African-Americans often have broader and somewhat flatter noses than Europeans; they have thicker skin (this can make refining the nasal tip more challenging); and, African-American nasal bones are comparatively short, requiring special care.

You can ask a doctor about her experience; ask to see photos; ask to speak with patients who have had the surgery you desire.  Ultimately, you must decide if the surgeon shares your aesthetic sensibility and can deliver a result that you believe will be natural and noticeable. 

Best of luck in your journey!

Dr. Michelle Yagoda
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New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Specialist in African-American Rhinoplasty

The question is relevant because the African-American nose requires special techniques and expertise.

Ask your surgeon frankly about his/her experience with African-American rhinoplasty and ask to see before- and after- photos.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

African-American and Ethnic Rhinoplasty

Ethnic rhinoplasty as a whole is a very sub-specialized aspect of plastic surgery and rhinoplasty. While most patients seeking rhinoplasty are of ethnicities that require nasal modification to balance out their face, only surgeons that are "ethnically-sensitive" to specific ethnic traits and anatomy can produce good results without "erasing or distorting" your ethnicity. All races and ancestries have a certain beauty and proportion that is suited for their face and body. It is important that your surgeon recognizes the differences in anatomy for your ethnicity and those of other races that are similar.

A specialist in ethnic rhinoplasty is generally a specialist in African-American noses as well. Asian and certain Arab and Hispanic nasal subtypes have similar features such as flat bridge, wide nose, nostrils that are wide and round, thick skin, weak cartilage support, and a tip that is poorly projecting. Look at your doctor's track record in the field of rhinoplasty. See if the doctor has published or lectured on ethnic rhinoplasty.

These well help you decide whether your doctor can appreciate your ethnicity while at the same time refining and re-shaping your nose.

Ashkan Ghavami, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty

It is never rude to ask your surgeon any question. Remember you are the patient and consumer. You should not have any reservations before having cosmetic surgery.

Over the past 10 years I have developed specific rhinoplasty techniques for the the African American and Hispanic patient. I believe that African American Rhinoplasty is becoming a specialty in itself. African American noses are uniquely different from Caucasian noses. The trouble is that many surgeons still employ old techniques for African Americans that they would for Caucasians.

Choosing the right surgeon is crucial. Revision rhinoplasty in African Americans is the most challenging surgeries in facial cosmetic surgery, so you wan to get it Right the first time.

The best way to choose a surgeon is:

  • Look at before and after pictures and make sure you like the work.
  • Talk to other patients of the surgeon.
  • Make sure you have computer imaging performed to see your results before the surgery.

Best of Luck,

Dr. S

Oleh Slupchynskyj, MD, FACS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 259 reviews

Choose the right African American and Ethnic Rhinoplasty

Choosing the right surgeon is the most important decision you can make when considering rhinoplasty. It is important to find a surgeon who not only specializes in rhinoplasty but also one who has experience performing rhinoplasty in patients of various ethnicities. Most recognized aesthetic proportions for rhinoplasty are derived from the Caucasian nose, and pre-operative analysis and planning become complex when applying these aesthetic “ideals” to patients of another ethnicity. Similarly, the techniques required to achieve natural looking results often are different for ethnic patients.

One way of determining your surgeon's experience in African American rhinoplasty is to view his or her before and after rhinoplasty patient photos. Most experienced rhinoplasty surgeons have a portfolio of their work in their office or on their website.

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.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty

There is not an isolated African American Rhinoplasty Specialist in the country, that is a surgeon whose entire practice is 100% African American rhinoplasties to my knowledge. However, there are surgeons whose focus is on rhinoplasty with many patients who are African American. African American noses comprise a wide range in variety due to anatomic variations in skin thicknesses, cartilage thickness, and alar base shape/widths, so you would want a surgeon with a large skill set to be able to use the best technique for your nose.

There are no rude questions to ask during your consultation so you should feel comfortable asking away. Some other questions to ask would be how many African American Rhinoplasty procedures have you performed, can I see before/after photographs, how do scars look after rhinoplasty, etc?

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 141 reviews

African American Rhinoplasty Specialist

The nose is a central aesthetic feature on our face. The shape of the nose can convey strength and elegance with a strong bridge and weakness with a very low bridge. There are also cultural implications with the size and shape for not only African Americans, but Asians, and Caucasians. African American noses vary considerable, some have a very low bridge, others may have a high bridge. The majority have thick skin and weaker cartilage, requiring the addition of support, and thinning of the skin. The base of the nose is often very wide requiring some degree of narrowing, depending on the wishes of the patient.
So the answer is yes, rhinoplasty for African American noses is a specialty within the field of rhinoplasty, and it is very appropriate to ask the surgeon during your interview what their experience is. They should offer computer imaging if they do alot of rhinoplasty. It is a great communication tool for you to share your goals and for the doctor to demonstrate that they understand what you may be looking for. While not a guarentee of results, you both can feel more comfortable that you have a common understanding of the goals of the procedure.

Brian Maloney, MD, FACS
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

African American vs. Caucasian Rhinoplasty

While it may be difficult finding a surgeon who specializes solely in the African American rhinoplasty, there are indeed many surgeons who are very experienced in performing the “ethnic rhinoplasty.” An ethnic rhinoplasty is performed on a patient who is not considered Caucasian, and may instead have a stereotypically African American, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latino nose. Though general techniques of most rhinoplasty surgeries are very similar across the board, the specific features that are distinctive among African American patients may require a more specialized strategy and more distinctive approach to the nose job surgery. Try to look for a surgeon who advertises experience in performing the ethnic rhinoplasty and who has before-and-after pictures of past patients readily accessible.

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

African- American Rhinoplasty Specialist

There certainly are facial plastic surgeons who have more experience than others with American- American Rhinoplasty (or any kind of ethnic rhinoplasty). Ways to find out are to ask to see before and after photos during your consultation of patients with a similar ethnic background. It is certainly never rude to ask- you are simply doing your due diligence and research to find a surgeon who is an expert in ethnic rhinoplasty. We love Toronto for its rich, cultural and ethnic diversity and see that in the make up of our patients as well.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Experts in African American Rhinoplasty

Just like any procedure, surgeons who see a lot of African American patients seeking rhinoplasty are most likely a better choice. Make sure you ask at your consultation how many he/she have performed, and also ask to see photos of prior patients. It is wise to make sure that your surgeon has the same changes in mind as you do. Communication is key to get a better result.

Ira D. Papel, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.