Rhinoplasty is a highly customized procedure, due to the variability of the nose itself and how it affects the appearance and balance of the rest of the face. Because of this, there is a great deal of flexibility in nose reshaping surgery butalso a lot of complexity.
Rhinoplasty is a very difficult surgery, necessitating a skilled, experienced, and artistic surgeon in order to create a pleasing outcome for a wide range of patients. Because of this, patients with non-Caucasian backgrounds sometimes have challenges finding a surgeon who understands their needs.
While techniques are the same for people of every background, variations in cartilage quality, skin thickness and general nasal shape require special knowledge from an expert. Rhinoplasty for people of Asian descent, for instance, often poses some challenges for grafting, which is an essential part of the rhinoplasty process.
Why Grafts Are Used
Grafts are an integral part of nearly every modern rhinoplasty procedure, even those involving nasal reduction. Grafts are typically made out of the patient’s own cartilage, harvested from the nasal septum, the ear, or the rib, in that order of preference. The cartilage is then shaped into one of many graft types and used to augment, strengthen, and shape the nose. Grafts are particularly important in Asian rhinoplasty, since most patients of Asian descent are seeking augmentation rhinoplasty, rather than reduction surgery, a common request among Caucasian patients.
Cartilage Strengthand Abundance
One of the challenges surgeons face when performing Asian rhinoplasty has to do with the strength and abundance of the cartilage. Cartilage in Asian patients tends to be fairly soft and fragile, and is often paired with thick skin. This combination is difficult for surgeons to work with, as there must be enough definition and strength in the framework to prevent collapse and produce a good aesthetic result. Additionally, cartilage is often not as plentiful in Asian patients, which sometimes means the surgeon must use material from both the nasal septum and the ear to create enough grafts for the procedure. For revision procedures or initial procedures requiring a lot of cartilage, rib cartilage harvest may be necessary as well.
Silicone and Gore-Tex nasal implants are another option for nasal augmentation, but they are not preferred by most surgeons, except in very rare circumstances. This is because implants are more likely than natural cartilage to develop infection, shift around in the nose, or begin to extrude (poke through the skin). Whenever possible, most surgeons prefer to use septal, ear, or rib cartilage grafts. Each procedure and patient is different, however, and the surgeon will come up with a unique plan for each surgery with the patient’s needs and preferences in mind.
Retaining Ethnic Identity
The goal of ethnic rhinoplasty is not to “Westernize” the nose, but to improve nasal defects and produce a natural-looking nose that is in harmony with the rest of the face. Be wary of any surgeon who tries to push you in a direction you’re not comfortable with. You don’t want to lose the essential uniqueness of your nose through overdramatic reshaping.
Set Yourself Up for Success
If you are of Asian descent and are interested in rhinoplasty, then you’ll want to set yourself up for success by choosing a surgeon who is well-versed in ethnic rhinoplasty and has a proven track record of providing great outcomes to a diverse patient base. You can start by scheduling consultations with qualified surgeons in your area. These consultations will give you a chance to get to know prospective surgeons, ask questions, and discuss your goals for surgery.
If you’re looking for the best ethnic rhinoplasty services available, then come to Revesse in Toronto and meet with Dr. Robert A. Mounsey. Dr. Mounsey is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery and focuses on providing each patient with beautiful, natural-looking results. Call 416-438-2499 today to schedule your consultation.