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do all noses look the same

Rhinoplasty Without Uniformity

“I’m not looking for a big Caucasian nose…I want to keep my ethnic nature, I just want to enhance what I have,” explains an Asian Westside Aesthetics patient as she prepared to undergo a non-surgical nose repair procedure. While there was no technical defect, the patient was unhappy with the way her sunglasses rested on her cheeks, the round tip, and the flat bridge of her nose. Working with Dr. Alexander Rivkin, the patient experienced injections of Radiesse in order to make the desired changes: “We should lift the bridge over here and extend, or project, the tip out more if we can,” explained Dr. Rivkin in a video recording of the consultation.” “We don’t want to give you a round tip…a few millimeters makes a big difference. Subtle changes can make a big difference.”

According to Rivkin, “Asian rhinoplasty” (a general term for a nose job performed on an Asian or Asian-American patient) is one of the most common ethnic rhinoplasty procedures on the market today. Asian rhinoplasty procedures differ in style and in result than traditional rhinoplasty surgeries, for a variety of reasons. From preoperative analysis to surgical techniques to recovery, surgeons agree that the Asian patient population demands attention in unique areas.

In addition to the “subtle changes” that many Asian and Asian-American patients are looking for, they are also often concerned about the risk of turning their nose into a “Westernized” silhouette, a “Caucasian” nose with many of the qualities we tend to associate with nose jobs (the typical ski-slope tip, for example). As the patient above explains, she wasn’t interested in a radically different nose shape, and didn’t need to change her nose to detract from its Asian qualities. Rather, she just wanted to accentuate and shape the nose that was already there. If you’re interested in an Asian rhinoplasty, this is a very important distinction.

Five Common Asian Rhinoplasty Requests

It’s not universally true, just as nobody’s noses are universally identical. Over the years, though, surgeons have identified and clarified some of the top changes they make when it comes to Asian rhinoplasty procedures. Some are aesthetic, and others are niche desires or requests that will help make day-to-day life easier.

  1. Adding Definition to the Bridge: According to San Diego nose job specialist John Hilinski, “adding definition to the bridge of the nose is one of the most common requests from Asian and Asian-American patients.” A lower, flatter bridge is a common feature of many Asian noses, leading some patients to be displeased with the upper half of their nose when compared to the front of the nose, where poor definition creates a lack of shadowing to define the profile. Many patients ask for an elevated bridge to improve the profile and create better, more specific definition.
  2. Adding Height to the Tip: Another commonly treated aspect of Asian noses is the tip, which tends to be flat, soft, and round, thanks to a thick skin-soft tissue envelope. Though this varies based on region and genetics, many Asians will ask for an increase in tip projection, which has the result of lengthening the nose slightly and lowering the upward angle.
  3. Reduced Nostrils: As Sam Rizk explains, “some Asian patients come from cultures who believe that having visible nostrils will drive away their wealth. Therefore, many of them require the surgeon to reduce their nostrils and make them less visible.” You can read more about the ways in which surgeons can reduce nostrils and see exemplar photos of the procedure here. However, patients who elect to have their overly-flared nostrils corrected can fall into the trap of having their nose appearance altered more than they were expecting. Injections or dermal fillers can help to revise this alteration and provide immediate results, which are often desired by unhappy patients.

Regardless of the request, one of the most important factors of any Asian rhinoplasty, revision or otherwise, is congruity. Make sure to work with a surgeon who is experienced when it comes to Asian rhinoplasties, and understands the necessity of not placing a Westernized nose onto your face. Before undergoing any procedure, ask your surgeon how many Asian rhinoplasties they have performed, whether the patients were pleased with the result, and if they’re able to take a personalized, unique approach to your nose without sacrificing functionality.

If you have questions or comments, and want to learn more about Asian rhinoplasty procedures, leave a comment in the section below, anytime! We’d be happy to help in your search.

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