Ethnic rhinoplasty means many things to many different cultures. When performing a rhinoplasty, patients usually like to keep some of their ethnic identity, which is understandable. Rhinoplasty involves shaping and sculpting the nasal bones and cartilages underneath the skin of the nose. The skin itself is not changed during the rhinoplasty procedure. The skin of the nose is actually lifted up during the rhinoplasty procedure and then the cartilage and bone is sculpted down, or cartilage grafts are added to build up an area. Some ethnic rhinoplasty procedures involve narrowing wide nostrils, narrowing a wide bridge, and adding height to the bridge due to a low bridge profile. Some ethnic patients have very thick skin in the tip of the nose, which is a significant restriction to seeing a refinement in that area, especially in the tip. Some patients desire to have a strong profile and even a minor convexity dorsal hump left intact to keep their ethnic nose looking very natural. Communication between the patient and the surgeon is of utmost importance to understand what the ethnic patient would like to have performed on their nose. Computer imaging performed in the office setting is also helpful in the communication process to understand what can and what cannot be accomplished with nasal surgery in the ethnic patient. Many ethnic patients who have thick skin require significant postoperative follow-ups, which include taping and cortisone shots placed in the supratip area of the nose to ensure there is no fluid buildup or scar tissue formation in that area. Thick, dark and oily skin over the nasal tip tends to over-heal and retain fluid in the supratip area of the nose, which is just above the actual tip cartilages. William Portuese, M.D. is the founder of the Seattle Rhinoplasty Center.
Dr William Portuese
1101 Madison St #1280, Seattle, WA 98104