Ethnic Rhinoplasty

What makes a beautiful nose?

This is both a complex and fascinating subject. Although nasal attractiveness is difficult to determine, there are certain characteristics which feature in attractive noses. For example, attractive noses tend to be symmetrical, centred between the eyes and are vertically positioned. Without these features, a beautiful nose may look out of harmony with the rest of the face irrespective of ethnicity. Attractive noses are not always the same and indeed come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. For this reason, assessment of the overall facial proportions is essential in any decision-making for rhinoplasty. Factors which determine this include gender, age, bone structure, and ethnicity.

At London Rhinoplasty, patients from all ethnic origins have been treated in the past including those of Anglo-Saxon, Middle Eastern, Indian Subcontinent, Afro-Caribbean, and Oriental origins. The requirements for ethnic rhinoplasty is determined very much by setting appropriate goals to achieve facial harmony and often this does not require an attempt to subvert the patient’s own ethnic origin. In broad terms, patients of Southern European, Middle Eastern and Jewish ethnic groups tend to have large noses with prominent dorsal humps. In these instances, a reductive rhinoplasty is often requested. Conversely, in Afro-Caribbean and Oriental patients, an absence of a dorsal bridge gives a slightly flattened appearance and here augmentation using the patient’s own cartilage or alternative graft materials can be used to obtain a more aesthetically pleasing result.

Although ethnic rhinoplasty is a misnomer since all rhinoplasties are ethnic, this term has been used to mean nasal surgery on any patient of non-Anglo-Saxon origin. Modern rhinoplasty techniques aim to individualise the operative treatment bearing in mind the patient’s current anatomy and the overall desired results. Even within a particular ethnic group, individual variation is significant and no single operative technique is appropriate for every patient. As with all patients, a thorough assessment of the individual nasal characteristics combined with realistic expectations of what can be achieved and appropriate care for surgical planning are essential ingredients to obtain a successful outcome.