Everything you need to know about ethnic rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure which changes the size and shape of the nose. This is considered to be a popular procedure, as the nose is such a prominent feature of the face. However, the desired nose shape, size and method used during the procedure varies greatly with each different ethnicity.

The structure of the nose varies in different ethnic groups. Those of Caucasian origin will have different nose shapes than those who are Asian, African, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern. Each culture often has a different ideal nose shape, therefore the type of rhinoplasty performed is often vastly different. The skill of the surgeon rests in restoring the contours of the nose to be in harmony with the face as a whole to create a natural appearance.

Ethnic rhinoplasty is an appropriate procedure for those who are non-Caucasian, and who are unhappy with the appearance, size or structure of their nose. This is a popular procedure for those from Asian, Middle Eastern, Afro-Carribean and Mediterranean backgrounds. However, because of the different sizes and structures of noses from these various backgrounds, there is no “one-size-fits-all” ethnic rhinoplasty. The desired nose size and shape may look completely different from one ethnicity to another. Therefore, ethnic rhinoplasty involves a thorough consultation, as well as numerous different techniques to perform the procedure.

Who is a suitable candidate for ethnic rhinoplasty?


Prior to the rhinoplasty, potential patients will have a consultation with the surgeon, who will discuss the patient’s wants and desired outcome. Features such as thin cartilage, thicker skin, wide nostrils, dorsal bumps and flat bridges will be analysed. This will help the surgeon know what procedure can be done and the candidate’s suitability.

Candidates for ethnic rhinoplasty must also be over 18 years old, be a non-smoker, and be in good physical and mental health.

What happens during the procedure?


Prior to surgery, you will have a consultation with a surgeon, who will discuss your medical history, as well as your wants and needs for this procedure. This will allow you to know what the outcome of the procedure will be and what method will be used.

The rhinoplasty procedure will vary depending on the shape and size of the nose, and the desired outcomes. While each culture has a different nose shape and ideal nose shape, there are also many variants of nose shapes within each culture. There is never a one-size-fits-all ethnic rhinoplasty procedure.

Types of ethnic rhinoplasty procedures include:

  • Those wanting a more defined nose: those with wide nostrils and bigger, flat noses often seek to have a more defined bridge and tip of the nose and make the nose narrower. In some cases, the skin will have to be grafted from a donor area, particularly for patients who have thick skin or thin cartilage. These skin grafts are then placed onto the nose to make the desired shape.
  • Increase projection of the nose: this is particularly popular in Asian cultures, where the general nose characteristic is flat with a wide tip. To increase the projection of the nose, skin is grafted, generally from behind the ear, and placed onto the nose. In cases where the nostrils are to be narrowed, the nasal bones are broken and then reset.
  • Reduction of dorsal hump: some people have a large bump on the bridge of their nose. The reduction size of the dorsal hump will vary depending on the individual’s wants. Either the open or closed rhinoplasty procedure can be used to reduce the dorsal hump.


No matter what type of rhinoplasty is being undertaken, the overall goal is to ensure the nose is harmonious with the other features of the face, such as the cheeks, chin, jaw and forehead.

What is the recovery period like?


No matter which ethnicity, after a rhinoplasty, you will experience some swelling and bruising. Patients are advised to apply ice to the nose for the first 48 hours following the rhinoplasty. Your surgeon will be able to recommend appropriate medication to help alleviate pain and discomfort.

There are numerous ways you can improve the recovery period, which includes:

  • Sleeping with your head at an elevated angle. Rest also promotes healing, so make sure to sleep when you can
  • Avoid sun exposure for several months
  • Do not bump the nose
  • Avoid exercise for two weeks, as well as any bending and heavy lifting
  • Take baths instead of showers
  • Do not wear glasses for six weeks after surgery


After the initial rhinoplasty, you should wait between 12-18 months before having any revision. However, sometimes a shorter waiting period may be required. You will need to discuss revision surgery with your surgeon in order to achieve the most optimal results.



Interested in ethnic rhinoplasty? This is a procedure Centre for Surgery currently offers. Contact us today to find out more and book a consultation with one of our surgeons. 

Share this post