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In this series of blogs we will try and give a bird’s eye view on what rhinoplasty is, the different types of procedures that fall into or are related to this category of plastic surgery and other concerns. We will be dedicating some time to questions of recovery after surgery and what procedures are appropriate and recommended depending on the patient’s condition, age and ethnicity. We will be also providing facts about African American rhinoplasty and ethnic rhinoplasty that will help you choose, plan and prepare for your own procedure.

Cosmetic Rhinoplasty – Choosing a Surgeon and Procedure

Rhinoplasty developed as a general practice serving local clientele and then international patients when international communities formed all over the world. This is when the need to diversify the rhinoplasty practice and introduce variations if the techniques applied to patients of different ethnicities.

While rhinoplasty is and always will be a highly personal procedure that has to be tailored very specifically to a patient’s skin nose structure and other individual qualities, there is still enough of a difference between ethnic patients’ noses so as to categorize them into groups that demand a significantly different approach from the surgeon working on them. A good cosmetic rhinoplasty surgeon is one who’d had considerable experience performing ethnic rhinoplasty on clients of a specific ethnic group. It is especially acute for African American and Asian rhinoplasty patients, but is still fairly important for others as well.

The best thing to do is to seek a surgeon that has built a solid reputation and portfolio of ethnic rhinoplasty founded on the principles of natural results and practices the principle of specially designing the surgery in such a way as to complement your individual and ethnic facial features.

It is best to turn to a surgeon who has had considerable experience with British, East European, African, Asian, Middle Eastern or South Asian, patients and knows how to work with the different features of those ethnic faces. This should allow him to produce a surgical plan and apply the skills in such a way that will optimize your ethnic rhinoplasty results.

A good surgeon will not necessarily take you on and do whatever you desire. As a professional, he is responsible for your well being and the result you get. A good surgeon will advise you and work with you to produce the best rhinoplasty possible for you to enjoy after. If you feel that your nose would look better if it were reduced or enlarged, or if it had a more streamlined tip or bridge, or slightly differently shaped nostrils, then you have given some time to consider what you might look like after the rhinoplasty procedure is complete. A good surgeon will always have a medical imaging system, and will help you get a clear idea of your expected results. The surgeon will always give you advice and inform you on everything you should know to ensure full and quick recovery.

Rhinoplasty Techniques

Rhinoplasty, including ethnic rhinoplasty and some other types of nose surgery are performed using one of two main techniques: open or closed nose surgery.

In an open rhinoplasty, the surgeon will begin by making an incision across the columella (that’s the strip of skin underneath the nose that separates the two nostrils and is connected to the upper lip). This allow to easily access and manipulate nose tissue and bone from underneath the skin and work for an optimal aesthetic result.

In a closed rhinoplasty procedure, the incisions are made inside the nostrils. For people with sensitive skin or who are afraid of scarring due to their skin color, this is not an impossible option but it may not allow to make safe adjustments due to the limited visibility that this type of access allows.

There are a great many cosmetic changes that can be achieved during rhinoplasty. A hump on the nasal bridge can be smoothed down or removed by performing an osteotomy. Nose tips can be turned up or slimmed, if you have a bulbous or droopy nasal tip. If you have overly wide nostrils, there are a variety of techniques which may be used to refine them. Nostrils and the tip can be shaped, enlarged or reduced in size using techniques such as cephalic resection, alar base resection or suture techniques. In other cases grafting techniques are used to widen or lengthen the nose, refine the nasal tip and alter nasal projection, or change the nasolabial angle (the angle between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip).

Rhinoplasty is performed with either general or local anesthesia and sedation, depending on the patient’s specific situation. The surgical time of an ethnic rhinoplasty procedure is normally around two or more hours.

This was an overview of cosmetic rhinoplasty and we hope you found it useful. Continue to next chapter, Rhinoplasty Overview – Part 2, to read about functional rhinoplasty and rhinoplasty recovery procedures.


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  • I am so thankful to have come across Dr. Oleh Slupchynskyj of The Aesthetic Institute of New York & New Jersey. "Dr. S." (as I like to call him for obvious reasons, haha) is a Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, and it turns out he has an entire website dedicated to his work with African-American patients: www.africanamericanrhinoplasty.com. I was immediately impressed with the wealth of information that he has on his site, including information about his practice, his stellar credentials, his surgical inventions (i.e., the SLUPimpla...

  • I was terrified of having surgery but after two consultations with Dr. S., my anxiety was alleviated, and this was my biggest hurdle. I was able to see what my results would be after surgery through "computer imaging". He spent as much time with me as needed and said I could come back as many times as I wanted before making a decision. That was refreshing. I asked to speak with at least 3 other patients of Dr. S. and did. They shared my initial fear and they helped me by explaining their experiences from a patient's point of view! Dr. S. specia...

  • The doctor is very approachable and personable and I felt that he is really listening to me. He made every effort to be easily accessible via email or phone. He also followed me every step of the process, not only during the surgery but also during the recovery period.

  • Double Board Certified with specialized training and loads of experience in Nose Surgery. I was able to see and discuss my results beforehand thru computer imaging so I felt very comfortable with what my result would be. Having consulted with other Drs. who did not have same training, imaging and were twice the surgical cost, I made my decision.

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    I am a 27 year old, African-American female from the Midwest and I just recently had a Rhinoplasty procedure performed on February 9, 2012. I had known for a long time that I wanted to have the procedure done to correct a bump in the bridge of my nose, reduce the width of my nose, as well as to refine my down-turned nasal tip. This was an operation that I was not going to trust to just anybody, so I spent countless hours researching and looking for a surgeon who had significant experience working with African-American patients. Because I liv...
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