Information on Ethnic Rhinoplasty

Information on Ethnic Rhinoplasty

Certain considerations exist for people of ethnic heritage different from Caucasian, if they are thinking of having performed cosmetic surgery on their nose. Ethnic Rhinoplasty is the term used to describe cosmetic surgery performed on the nose, with the object of improving the appearance without losing ethnic characteristics.

If a person of African American, Hispanic or Asian heritage simply receive a procedure following the standards used for Caucasians, there is a risk of an unbalanced appearance of the face, as the nose will no longer match. A good plastic surgeon, will take into consideration the unique features of each ethnicity and perform the desired changes without losing the ethnic characteristics.

The Procedure

Ethnic Rhinoplasty follows the basic principles of other types of surgery on the nose. A small incision at the base of the nose allows the surgeon to lift the skin off the nose. Thereby the bone and cartilage structure can be altered, which is what will change the shape of the nose.

While the basic principle is the same, certain techniques are more common in ethnic rhinoplasty. Typical goals include creating higher bridges, making noses more narrow, and removing humps on the nose.

Often patients of Asian heritage want their noses to be narrower with a higher bridge. If only a slight elevation of the bridge is desired, no implants are required, the bone can be cut and moved towards the midline, which will narrow the brige and elevate the dorsum slightly. If greater changes to the bridge is desired, it can be achieved by implants. To reduce the risk of adverse side effects, such as infection, tissues from the patient's own body can be used for the procedure.

A common goal for people of African descent is narrower nostrils. This can be achieved by removing sections of the base of the nostrils. Removing tiny sections of cartilage can give the nose more definition, adding cartilage grafts makes it possible to provide additional structure to the nasal tip.

Removing a hump or bump on the bridge of the nose is often desired by prospective patients of Latin ethnicity. Partly the hump is made of bone and partly of cartilage. The soft cartilage can be removed with a scalpel, while the bone is often removed with a chisel, referred to as a "Osteotome". When the main part of the hump has been removed, files are used to smooth out the remaining bone.

Finding a Surgeon

When finding a surgeon, take into consideration how much experience the surgeon have with procedures of people with your heritage. Finding an expert in ethnic rhinoplasty, will maximize the likelihood of you achieving a great result, with the desired changes, but without losing the balance of your appearance.

As always, but maybe even more so with ethnic rhinoplasty, you need great and comfortable communication. It's crucial that your surgeon understands exactly what you wish the result to be and that your surgeon can explain exactly what is realistic, what risks exist and what you need to do to prepare and to recover.

Risks, Downtime and Recovery

The risks, downtime and recovery does not differ to the usual for surgery of the nose. You can read more about general rhinoplasty here.


Special considerations exist for people of ethnic heritage different from Caucasian, who wish to alter the appearance of their nose. That said, many plastic surgeons have experience and expertise in the field. If you feel the appearance of your nose is hurting your happiness and  self-esteem, having your nose surgically altered. Remember that each case is different and make sure your surgeon understands this as well. The changes made to the nose, should not make you lose your special and beautiful ethnic characteristics.

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