The popularity of plastic surgery continues to grow with Asians worldwide, and nose surgery ranks second only to eyelid surgery as the most requested procedure. With interest in this operation at an all-time high, many technical refinements are advancing the art of Asian rhinoplasty.
Asian rhinoplasty should sculpt the nose so that it flatters the Asian face in its natural beauty. Due to ethnic differences in anatomy and aesthetic preferences, rhinoplasty must not be approached the same way for Asian patients as it is for Western patients. The ideal Asian rhinoplasty meets the patient’s appearance goals without compromising their cultural identity.
With this goal in mind, Asian rhinoplasty surgeries typically focus around concerns related to anatomical characteristics seen frequently in Asian populations. Many Asians have thick nasal skin and a low nasal bridge (dorsum). The Asian nasal tip often lacks projection and definition, while the nostrils are wide and flat. The tip may be bulbous or appear roasted upwards due to its under-projection.
Careful preoperative planning is necessary to align the patient’s expectations with the correct surgical technique. If you are considering Asian rhinoplasty, these are some of the goals your surgery could achieve:
Augmenting the Nasal Dorsum
The most common request from Asian rhinoplasty patients is adding height to the dorsum. Raising the nasal bridge gives height and definition to a “flattened” nose, making it more proportionate with other facial structures. Building up the dorsum can also make it easier to wear glasses.
There are several techniques for dorsal augmentation. It can be done with a synthetic implant made from Gore-Tex or silicone, an autologous cartilage graft taken from the patient’s rib, or a cartilage allograft taken from a cadaver rib. For patients who are not ready to commit to surgery, dorsal augmentation can be accomplished temporarily with dermal fillers.
Refining the Nasal Tip
A bulbous nasal tip in Asian patients comes from a combination of thick skin and weak cartilage. By making the tip thinner, sleeker and more defined, we can rebalance the patient’s facial appearance.
Refining the nasal tip usually involves a combination of trimming the cartilage, bending the cartilage and/or repositioning the cartilage. A graft can be considered but is not always needed to achieve the desired effect.
An individual with very thick nasal skin may require an exaggerated degree of cartilage alteration to make the changes externally apparent. Skin thickness sometimes limits visible refinement, despite what is done internally.
Increasing the Projection of the Nasal Tip
Like the dorsum, the nasal tip is often flat or under-projected in Asian patients. This can sometimes create the illusion of the nose being upturned. Increasing tip projection refers to augmenting the tip so that it protrudes further forward from the face.
Surgical techniques for tip augmentation are somewhat similar to dorsal augmentation, with the preferred technique being a cartilage graft. Grafts are often taken from the septum or ear for this procedure, but can be taken from the rib if a significant amount of cartilage is needed.
Once the graft is secured to the tip’s cartilaginous framework, it pushes the nasal envelope outward to create a new shape.
Changing the Shape or Width of the Nostrils
Some Asian patients wish to reduce the width of the nose base to lessen the appearance of large, rounded or “flared” nostrils. These concerns are typically corrected by removing a portion of tissue from the nostrils. The nostrils are then brought inwards and sutured into a new position, making the nose appear narrower and more dainty. This procedure is called alar base reduction.
In some patients, augmentation of the nasal tip may itself give the illusion of a narrower alar base. If alar base reduction is needed, the procedure should be done after completion of any augmentation of the nasal tip or dorsum.
Revising a Prior Nose Surgery
Rhinoplasty is a highly individualised, and sometimes challenging, surgery. If the results from a procedure are unsatisfactory, a secondary or revision rhinoplasty may be an option. Revision rhinoplasty applies to any patient who has undergone nose surgery one or more times previously. These are some of the most complex cases cosmetic surgeons face.
Common reasons for revision Asian rhinoplasty include overcorrection of a low dorsum, excessive cartilage removal from the nasal tip, breathing issues, asymmetry and implant complications.
When revision is necessary, it is often best to delay the procedure for months to allow for adequate healing and settling of the tissues. Revisions may occasionally be performed earlier if the surgeon feels the procedure is straightforward and has a high likelihood of success.
Choosing the Best Surgeon for Asian Rhinoplasty
Asian rhinoplasty is not done to make the face look more Caucasian, but rather to give you an Asian nose that is more closely aligned with your aesthetic taste. Accomplishing this requires not only special expertise but also a keen eye for Asian beauty. Your choice of surgeon is critical.
Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons have many years of experience in providing plastic surgeries that achieve their patients’ goals while maintaining respect for their ethnic identity. They understand the complexities of Asian anatomy and are keenly attuned to the typical desires of Asian patients.
If you are interested in an Asian rhinoplasty procedure, contact Asian Plastic Surgery today to book a consultation. During this time, you can discuss the benefits of the procedure and learn more about what it can accomplish.