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 42

Many differences between Asian and Western rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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.

Asian Rhinoplasty video

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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.

Sam Lam, MD, FACS
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon

Asian rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

The difference depends on the patient

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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

Asian rhinoplasty in Los Angeles

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Asian noses mainly requiring augmentation - of the tip and bridge area, and occasionally narrowing the nostrils. Caucasian rhinoplasty generally consists of doing the exact opposite.

The trend now is to avoid silicone implants, but rather to use your own tissues to build up the tip and bridge area in order to minimize late problems with silicone. Most primary noses can be peformed in this manner using tissue from your ear and septum without the need for rib cartilage.

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

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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

Asian Nose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

There are essentially 4 types of noses: Caucasian, Asian, African- American and combination of these.

Asian noses are usually have low dorsum and therefore require some type of implant, although, this may not be true for certain patients from Japan or Korea who may have a hump and in need of hump removal. The skin of the Asian nose is generally thicker and the nasal base is wider with flarring of the nostrils. These noses may also be shorter than the ideal nose. All these features require attention during Asian rhinoplasty and should be corrected in order to achieve a good result. Of particular importance is the type and placement of the dorsal implant so that movement and extrusion of the implant is avoided. The other important procedure is the reduction of the flarring of the nostrils which must be done in such a way to avoid scarring while adequate enough to have nasal harmony.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

The main difference is augmentation vs. reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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! 

Successful Asian Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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
4.7 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Asian Rhinoplasty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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.

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.