Asian Rhinoplasty - What's Right for the Asian Nose Job?

What's the difference in nose jobs for westernized, caucasian noses and for an Asian (Korean, Chinese, etc). Is the technique used in Asian rhinoplasty special? It what ways does the Asian nose anatomy differ from other noses? I think some doctors call the procedure "Oriental Rhinoplasty" too.

Doctor Answers 39

Asian Rhinoplasty video

Here's a video that explains the differences between Western and Asian rhinoplasties and what to expect during the recovery period of an Asian rhinoplasty.

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Many differences between Asian and Western rhinoplasty

There are HUGE differences between Asian and "Western" Rhinoplasty.

First off, the nasal features are completely different and this requires specific maneuvers or techniques that are used to address each of the differences.

Asian Rhinoplasty: Tend to have short nasal bones (don't lend well to huge bony changes or cuts to be made), depressed dorsum bridge, short nose, wide nasal tip, thick skin, weak cartilage, inadequate septal cartilage for use of grafts, inadequate tip projection (tip does not point out enough), round nostrils, nostrils which show too much on the front view, inadequate columella (area between the nostrils), and a tip which points up too much (over-rotated).

All these features requires the following techniques, in general: Addition of cartilage (or implant) to augment the dorsum; increased support with cartilage added to the columella, nasal tip and above the nostrils; thinning of the thick skin, lowering the nostrils, increasing tip projection, osteotomy (bone cuts) to narrow the bridge.

Western Rhinoplasty: There is much more variation in western noses than Asian. Because of this, it is hard to point to specific features. There is a "melting pot" sort of presentation among western noses.

However, some differences which do not usually exist in Asian noses are: too much of a dorsal (bridge) hump, too much tip projection, long nose, drooping tip, large oval nostrils, thin skin, strong rim, tip, and septal cartilage, airway (breathing) problems.

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

Asian rhinoplasty

Certain nasal features are prevalent among people of Asian heritage. The skin of the nose tends to be thick and sebaceous. The nasal tip may be bulbous and under-projected with thick skin. The dorsum (bridge) may be low and wide and the nasal base may be wide. An acute nasiolabial angle and retrusive maxilla also gives the nose a less protrusive appearance. For patients wanting narrower or more projected noses, there are many techniques available to enhance the nose without adding significant size. In fact, narrowing the nose will reduce its size.
One challenge of Asian rhinoplasty is that it can be difficult to achieve fine features when dealing with thick skin. However, a pointed or angular nose might not suit the patient’s face and therefore, the thick skin may not be a concern. Each patient is examined individually and a unique surgery plan is designed to meet his or her goals

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Video Below: Asian Rhinoplasty is different from rhinoplasty done for a Caucasian

Asian Rhinoplasty is different from rhinoplasty done for a Caucasian. Caucasians usually require reductive rhinoplasty. This entails making the nose smaller or "reducing' the size of the nose. Asian rhinoplasty is typically an augmentation type of rhinoplasty where parts of the nose are actually made bigger like the tip and nasal bridge. The Asian rhinoplasty necessitates placing grafts from rib, ear, nasal septal and foreign material like silicone, medpor, and goretex. I have a unique approach to the Asian Nose that you can read about on my website. 

Thanks for reading, Dr Young

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

The difference depends on the patient

Many ethnic groups have some common characteristics:  An Asian nose with a broad, low dorsum is no different from an eastern European nose with the same characteristics.  The difference in management depends on the patient.  The importance of "ethnicity" is that any change must be deliberate and match the patient's aesthetic goals.  You must find a surgeon who has enough control over his or her results to be able to deliver the type of change that you both have agreed on.  The surgical techniques may differ (especially in donor site), but the basic plan of raising a bridge and creating tip contour in an Asian or a Slavic nose is the same--only the aesthetic goals may differ.

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

The main difference is augmentation vs. reduction

The typical Asian nose is different from the typical Western nose in that Asians typically need "more" nose, and Westerners needing "less" nose.  That's the simple way to think about it.  What is done to improve the appearance depends upon your individual facial aesthetics and balance and what your surgeon can technically achieve for you.  This may require treating your bones, cartilage, and adding graft in the form of cartilage or silicone.  You and surgeon should have a detailed discussion about the risks and benefits of using your own tissue (autologous) versus implant materials. 

Often times, the tip of the nose if broad and flat, and may further need refinement to raise and sharpen the tip.  I most often use the "open" approach, which means there will be a small incision at the base (columella) of the nose.  Most importantly, the nose if a functional organ for breathing.  Make sure that the inside (septum and turbinates) of the nose is examined before you embark on rhinoplasty! 

Charles K. Lee, MD, FACS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Successful Asian Rhinoplasty

Every individual has unique nasal anatomy, but ethnicity does influence surgical technique in specific ways. For example, individuals of Asians descent and some other ethnic groups tend to have a flattened bridge. As a result, one of the most requested modifications among Asian patients is a nasal bridge augmentation, also called a dorsal augmentation. The nasal bridge can be enhanced using two main techniques: cartilage grafts and implants. Tip definition is an issue and tips are usually under projected and cartilage grafts are best for providing more definition and projection. In general, a cartilage transplant is preferred. However, another characteristic that is related to ethnicity should be taken into consideration: the thickness of the skin. Cartilage grafts tends to be the better option for those with thin skin, while implants is typically more suitable for those with thick skin.

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

Asian Rhinoplasty

Asian rhinoplasty generally involves augmentation of the nose with various type of implants (primarily silicone) and cartilage grafts.  In contrast, most Caucasian rhinoplasty involves reduction of the nose to make it smaller.

Asian rhinoplasty has evolved from just putting in a silicone implant, which often leads to an artificial appearance to a technique where a combination of implants and cartilage grafts are harmonized to create a completely natural result.  I feel the greatest advancements in this field are the techniques to reshape the tip of the nose with various cartilage grafting techniques.  In Asian rhinoplasty, increased projection of the tip of the nose is usually necessary.  Often the length of the nose, which is the distance from the root of the nose to the tip is too short.  To adequately address these conditions in most patients, the septum, which is the plate of cartilage that separates the two nasal cavities, is lengthened with a special cartilage graft to support the new tip position.  This septal extension graft is used frequently in my practice and I often see revision rhinoplasty patients that could have avoided a revision surgery if this technique was used in the first place.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Differences between Caucasian and Asian Rhinoplasty Technques and Goals

There is a big difference between Caucasian and Asian Rhinoplasty (nose job). This is broken down into 3 differences: 1) Goals 2) Anatomic differences and 3) How surgery is done.

1. GOALS. Caucasians usually request reduction of a dorsal bump and refinement of the nasal tip and reducing nasal tip projection (height). Asians often want the a higher nasal bridge, elevated nasal tip and reduction in nostril width to give a more refined appearance to the dorsum and tip. They don't necessarily want a more Caucasian nose and often want to preserve their ethnicity.

2. ANATOMY. Caucasians often have an excess of bone and cartilage creating the features they want to change. Their overlying skin to the nose is thin and less fatty tissue. If cartilage grafting is needed to correct a nasal deformity, their is ample cartilage in their nasal septum and other sources such as ear, rib or synthetic materials are less likely to be needed. Asians on the other hand have too little bone and cartilage along their nasal bridge and tip. They also have thicker overlying skin covering with more fat. Grafting materials are often needed to build up their nasal bridge and tip. Unlike Caucasians, septal cartilage is not plentiful, as most of their septum is made out bone (instead of pliable cartilage). This necessitates other grafting materials or sources such as synthetic materials, ear cartilage and even rib.

3. HOW THE SURGERY IS PERFORMED. In Caucasians, dorsal hump (bump) reduction, reshaping the tip cartilage, and decreasing the projection (height) of the nasal tip gives a more refined and balanced look. Cartilage grafting is used to give more definition as needed. Surgery has evolved over the past decade where less cartilage is removed and more is reshaped. This gives long lasting support and results. Because the overlying skin envelope is thin, any changes made to the bony and cartilaginous framework of the nose is visibly noticeable. In Asians, grafting (septum, ear, rib and sometimes synthetic implants) are used to build up the nasal bridge and cartilage is used to add support and definition to the nasal tip. It is always preferable to use grafting material from the body and avoid synthetic materials which can get infected years later. The nostrils are often reduced in size by removing a wedge of skin (alar base reduction). Because the overlying skin is thick, some of the changes to the tip cartilage are not as visible as in Caucasians and it is not possible to have the same type of sculpted nasal tip appearance. In both cases, the goal is for a natural result.

Ran Y. Rubinstein, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

Asian rhinoplasty

as a specialist in Asian facial plastics and Asian rhinoplasty the general differences between Asian and non-Asian rhinoplasty are as follows


1.  Asian rhinoplasty tends to be augmentation with cartilage or implants versus reduction such as removing a nasal bump which is often performed in non-Asian rhinoplasty

2.  Asian rhinoplasty patients tend to have moderately to significantly thick skin with a sometimes soft consistency that creates issues with swelling and inability to see the changes to the cartilage beneath. Generous cartilage grafting with sharp angles is often needed to be able to see some of the changes that the surface of the skin

3. you want a specialist not a general plastic surgeon.

I'll attach some information that may be more helpful

Chase Lay, MD

double board certified facial plastic surgeon

Asian facial plastic specialist

Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 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.