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African-American Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is facial plastic surgery to reshape the nose and is often referred to as a nose job

African American rhinoplasty patients may choose their nose job for numerous reasons. Restoration after a car accident or sports injury causing nasal trauma is common. Other reasons are purely cosmetic. Western society has historically held some specific beauty ideals that hold up certain facial features as more attractive than others. This sometimes leads people to alter their appearance in an effort to attain these ideals.

People of various ethnic backgrounds will naturally have differently shaped or proportioned noses. People with African–Caribbean heritage often have wider-set noses. African American rhinoplasty is the practice of revising nasal features while maintaining the individual’s ethnic aesthetic. The most common complaints of African American rhinoplasty patients are wide nostrils (called wide nasal alar), wide nasal tips, and wide nasal dorsum/nasal bridges.

The key to African-American rhinoplasty that appears natural and harmonious is understanding the structure of the nose and staying consistent with the rest of the person’s features. The enhanced nose should suit the patient’s facial features and not look artificial.

African American rhinoplasty patients have the same basic parameters for ideal facial balance as everyone. When the forehead, nose, and chin make up equal thirds of the face from the front view, results are harmonious.


Balance is also considered from the profile, highlighting the forehead, nose, and chin from the side view. Therefore, if someone’s chin is receded, they may consider a chin augmentation, or a patient may consider some type nose surgery so features are proportionate. Balance is achieved when facial features align nicely.


As with all rhinoplasty, small incisions are made inside the nostrils to access the cartilage and bones. This way, there’s no external, visible scarring. Occasionally, an incision is made on the skin between the nostrils. Cartilage may be added, subtracted, or merely reshaped to produce the contours and structure desired by the patient. Dr. Torgerson is able to alter the bridge of the nose where it connects to cheek bones, the nasal size, projection and tip.

Subtle adjustments to even one of these areas can make a big difference to the patient’s appearance. There will be some post-operation swelling and pain, but they dissipate quickly during the first week and over several months. The goal of any nose job is to make the patient feel like the best version of him or herself, so they can face life with confidence.

Many plastic surgeons practice what they call ethnic rhinoplasty, which categorizes all non-European nose surgeries together


The problem with this, however, is the diversity of non-European tissue characteristics. Performing African American rhinoplasty requires the knowledge of African tissue features, such as thicker skin. Darkly pigmented skin can be more prone to scarring, and delicate cartilage plus shorter nasal bones need to be handled with care and precision. Performing nose jobs for African Americans requires careful consideration of specific ethnic physical characteristics.

Because of the variance and diversity of patients, facial plastic surgery plans are made to suit the individual. Many people are of mixed races, and everyone deserves an aesthetic that suits who they are as a unique person.

The key is to not look like you’ve had a nose job at all, so patients who want a natural look should avoid having extreme surgeries that completely alter their nose. Very small adjustments can make a very big difference, especially on such a prominent feature of the face.

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