African-American Rhinoplasty

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

While there are several reasons for opting for a nose job, some of which may be restorative, such as after a car accident that left the nose broken, many are cosmetic. Western society has very specific beauty ideals that suggest that certain features are more attractive than others. This leads many people to alter their appearances in an effort to attain these beauty ideals.

People of varying ethnic background often find that some portions of their features are less appreciated in Western society. People with African –Caribbean heritage often have wider-set noses, which they are often not happy with. African-American rhinoplasty is the practice of reconstructing noses to their satisfaction, while still maintaining their ethnic identity, aesthetic, and integrity. The most common complaints of African American rhinoplasty patients are wide nostrils, called wide nasal alar, wide nasal tips, and nasal dorsum, which are wide nasal bridges. The key to African-American rhinoplasty is understanding the structure of the natural nose and constructing a look that is natural-looking and consistent with the rest of the individual’s features. The reconstructed nose needs to suit the patient’s facial features and not look artificial.

A person’s face is considered well-balanced when the forehead, the nose, and the chin make up equal thirds of the face from the front, face-on view


Balance is also considered from the profile, as it looks at the forehead, the nose, and the chin from the side view. If someone’s chin is receded, they may consider a chin augmentation, or a patient may consider some type of change to their nose for their facial features to appear more harmonious. Balance is achieved when the features align nicely.


As with all rhinoplasty surgery, small incisions are made inside the nose in order to access the cartilage and the bones. This way, there is no external, visible scarring. Occasionally, an incision is made on the skin between the nostrils. Cartilage is then added, subtracted, or merely reshaped to produce the shape and structure desired by the patient. Dr. Torgerson is able to reshape the bridge of the nose, where it connects to the cheek bones, the nasal shape and structure, and the tip of the nose.

Subtle adjustments to even one of these areas can make a big difference to the patient’s face. There will be some post-operation swelling and pain, but they will dissipate in time. The goal of any nose job is to make the patient feel like the best version of him or herself, so they can walk away with confidence.

Many plastic surgeons practice what they call ethnic rhinoplasty, where they lump all non-Caucasian nose reconstructions together


The problem with this, however, is the diversity of non-Caucasian races. Performing African American rhinoplasty requires the knowledge of African features, such as thicker skin, which is more prone to scarring, the delicate nature of cartilage, which requires more support in a rhinoplasty, and shorter nasal bones, which need to be handled with care and precision. Performing nose jobs for African Americans requires careful consideration of these 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 there’s been a nose job at all, so patients should avoid having extreme surgeries that completely alter their look. Very small adjustments can make a very big difference, especially on the nose, as it is a prominent feature on anyone’s face.

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