Asian Rhinoplasty

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Marianne Campolongo, Staff Writer

Marianne A. Campolongo is an experienced writer and photographer. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines and on websites. The topics she has written about include health, parenting, lifestyles, travel, food, and dieting. She has also photographed magazine covers, including personalities such as Hillary Clinton and former CBS co-anchor René Syler. She holds a law degree from Fordham University School of Law.


December 07 2007

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Asian Nose Jobs: One Size Does Not Fit All
Cosmetic plastic surgery is growing in popularity in the U.S. Asian-Americans are among those fueling this growth. And, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), nose reshaping, also known as a nose job or rhinoplasty, is the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery among Asian-Americans.

As society's attitude on the nature of beauty changes, so too does the concept of the "perfect" nose. Once, a nose job meant you ended up with the accepted Western or Caucasian nose—straight, with a high, narrow bridge and a well-defined tip and nostrils—no matter what your ethnicity.

Even in Asia, where many cosmetic procedures originated, Western medicine and Western standards of beauty once held sway. This is no longer the case. Today, many Asian-Americans are more partial to Asian rather than American influences. Women and men seeking an Asian nose job may be dissatisfied with their nose, but they do not want to conform to some concept of Western beauty. They just want to look and feel better about themselves, radiating self-confidence that many hope can open the door to an improved social life and career.

Although cosmetic plastic surgery should not be entered into lightly and cannot change the inner you, many people from all ethnic groups hope that by attaining their concept of beauty, they will feel less self-conscious and have better self-esteem.

A good cosmetic surgeon can improve your nose in a way that retains all the Asian features that make you the person you are. Subtle changes can enhance your features, correct flaws, and even change your profile without erasing the natural beauty of your heritage.

The Anatomy of the Asian Nose
Every human nose consists of bone, cartilage and skin. Still, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, and African noses all have slight differences in anatomy as well as similarities. For example, most Caucasians have rhinoplasty to make their noses less prominent by smoothing bumps on the bridges of their noses or to make their noses smaller. Most Asian rhinoplasty is just the opposite—building up the bridge of the nose and making the nose more prominent. In both cases, however, there is often a desire to narrow the nostrils and bridge of the nose.

As with every ethnic group and individual, the structure of the typical Asian nose may limit how it can be changed through rhinoplasty surgery. It is very important to discuss your desires with your surgeon and to understand what he or she tells you can and cannot be done surgically.

Asian Rhinoplasty
The goal of Asian rhinoplasty is to achieve a natural look that compliments your features and balances your face.

Sometimes the dorsum (the bridge) of an Asian nose is so flat that it is hidden behind a person's eyelashes in their profile. This not only affects the profile but it can often make it difficult to wear glasses. A good rhinoplasty can create subtle changes that enhance the profile without looking Westernized.

Often, this is done by fracturing the bridge of the nose and then moving the bones closer (known as an infracture). The effect of the technique can subtly change the profile by both thinning and slightly elevating the bridge of the nose without losing the distinctive ethnic character of the nose.

In some cases, an implant is used either alone or in combination with an infracture to elevate the bridge of the nose. Today, plastic surgeons use implants made of solid silicone or other inert materials or a piece of cartilage taken from elsewhere in the body (such as the ear) or from another section of the nose.

During Asian nose surgery, a board-certified surgeon can sculpt the tip of the nose and reshape the cartilage there. As with the bridge of the nose, they sometimes add cartilage from elsewhere in the body or insert a small silicone implant to achieve the desired result.

A surgeon can also narrow the nostrils, usually by removing a small sliver through the crease of the nose and then hiding the scars in the fold.

One factor to take into account before deciding to have cosmetic plastic surgery is scarring. Some types of skin tend to scar more than others and you should discuss this with your surgeon.

For more information about rhinoplasty, including information about risks and recovery time, see rhinoplasty.

Finding the Right Surgeon for Asian Rhinoplasty
If you are considering an Asian nose job, your surgeon need not be of Asian descent, but he or she should be very experienced in dealing with Asian noses. Just as a good Asian-American board-certified plastic surgeon can sculpt anyone's nose to a shape that is pleasing and appropriate for their face and ethnicity, so too a good non-Asian surgeon can be sensitive to the nuances of the Asian face and perform an Asian nose job that will enhance your face and be in keeping with your features and heritage.

When you meet with your surgeon, ask how often he or she performs a rhinoplasty on people of Asian descent. Ask to see before-and-after photos of the surgeon's other Asian rhinoplasty patients. You can also ask to speak to previous Asian patients.

During your consultation with a cosmetic surgeon, you have the opportunity to tell him or her exactly what you do not like about your nose and how you want to look after your surgery. If you have photos of noses that you like, you should bring them with you to the consultation. A good surgeon will discuss what can be achieved based upon the characteristics of your nose and should advise you whether or not this will achieve the look you want.

As the world changes, a multiracial concept of beauty is taking hold. People seeking cosmetic plastic surgery and the surgeons they choose are tuning in to this concept. Find a qualified cosmetic plastic surgeon in your area.