Ethnic rhinoplasty in Canada and the United States typically refers to non-Caucasian rhinoplasty, and the term can encompass nasal surgeries for people of African, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, and other backgrounds. Because the term is so broad, it defies generalities, and rhinoplasty surgeons must take a custom approach to each procedure. Some common characteristics can help surgeons predict outcomes, which is helpful in meeting each patient’s needs.
Cartilage quality, for example, is a major issue in many cases of ethnic rhinoplasty, and the surgeon must be prepared for several possibilities when getting ready to perform cartilage grafting in ethnic rhinoplasty, an essential technique in nearly every procedure.
The Importance of Grafting
Cartilage grafting is an essential piece of the rhinoplasty process. Cartilage grafts are used to shape, support, and add volume to various parts of the nose, from the tip to the bridge. Each rhinoplasty uses cartilage grafts in a different way, but nearly all rhinoplasty procedures use cartilage grafting. Natural cartilage grafts from the patient’s own body are vastly preferred by most surgeons, as they assimilate well to the area in which they are used, have a low chance of rejection, and generally produce very good results. The only alternative to natural cartilage grafts is synthetic implants, but most surgeons try to use cartilage whenever possible, and bypass potential complications involved with implants.
Trends in Cartilage Quality
A common trend in patients of African, Asian, and Hispanic decent is fairly weak cartilage combined with thick skin. This presents a challenge for surgeons, as many people are seeking improved nasal tip definition, which requires the support of nasal cartilage and proper draping of the nasal skin. While not all ethnic rhinoplasty patients have these characteristics, it is a trend that surgeons must be prepared for. So how do surgeons work with poor cartilage quality?
Coping with Challenges
There are many tricks a surgeon can use to help offset some of the challenges caused by weak cartilage. One of these possibilities is using a different source for cartilage. Cartilage can be taken from the nasal septum, ear, or rib for use in rhinoplasty, but cartilage from each source has slightly different qualities. In most cases, the nasal septum cartilage is considered the best material, but rib cartilage is often stronger and might be a good option in some ethnic rhinoplasty procedures. An experienced ethnic rhinoplasty surgeon will have a number of techniques at their disposal to cope with issues of weak cartilage and/or thick skin, so the best way to set yourself up for success is to choose a talented ethnic rhinoplasty specialist.
As with any rhinoplasty procedure, customization is key to getting the desired results from ethnic rhinoplasty. There is also the extra challenge of maintaining ethnic identity in patients while promoting facial balance—the facial features must be in harmony with one another. Patients can help promote good outcomes by communicating their needs with their surgeon throughout the process.
An Experienced Specialist
Ethnic rhinoplasty requires the skills of a specialist who has had many years of experience in creating successful outcomes for patients of all backgrounds. Not many surgeons have the flexibility, artistry, and knowledge to produce consistently good results, and it can be a challenge to find the surgeon who is right for you. However, this is one of the most important aspects of ethnic rhinoplasty, and you should not move forward with the procedure until you find the surgeon who is right for you.
Board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Robert A. Mounsey understands the general nuances of many types of ethnic rhinoplasty, and also has the adaptability to adjust his techniques as needed to suit the patient’s needs. If you would like to discuss your goals for ethnic rhinoplasty with a seasoned specialist, come to Revesse in Toronto and meet with Dr. Mounsey. Call (416.438.2499) today to schedule your consultation.