Advances in anatomical understanding, coupled with refinement of techniques over time, have revolutionized the field of modern rhinoplasty. Plastic surgeons who specialize in rhinoplasty are able to provide significant alterations – without creating an "over-operated" or artificial appearance. It is unfortunate that a few excessive and unnatural "celebrity nose jobs" have so unfairly stigmatized this procedure as a whole, since there are accomplished plastic surgeons who perform ethnic rhinoplasty in Los Angeles with consistently elegant and more subtle results. In particular, the African-American community has been hesitant to undergo rhinoplasty for fear of looking odd, facially imbalanced, and losing their ancestral features. Now more than ever, surgeons who perform ethnic rhinoplasty are dedicating themselves to preserving the distinct ethnic heritage that is such an integral aspect of a patient's facial triangle of beauty. Successful African American rhinoplasty offers natural facial harmony that complements the patient's own ethnic features.
There is significant variability when it comes to the naso-facial features of people with African heritage. Nevertheless, while rhinoplasty experts like Dr. Ashkan Ghavami caution that each patient is unique and requires a tailored approach, there are some commonly found features in people of African descent that differ from those found with Caucasian patients. These may include, but are not limited to the following:
- A nasal bridge that is wider and flatter, or more depressed
- Wider, flaring nostrils that flare more with smiling
- A bulbous and flat nasal tip that contains excess soft tissue and weak cartilage framwork
- A shorter columella (that fleshy external end of the septum)
- Too much "nostril show" on front view
- Thicker, more inelastic, and more sebaceous skin
- Weaker, flatter, and softer nasal cartilage
- Flatter and shorter nasal bones
Each of the above features can be re-shaped or modified without being excessive. This is the approach taken by Dr. Ashkan Ghavami, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who frequently gives lectures on the topic. Dr. Ghavami uses addition of specialized cartilage grafts in unique configurations to strengthen, shape, and augment the framework of the ethnic nose. The combination of adding shaping grafts to the tip and flat bridge, along with meticulous and conservative nostril reduction sets the foundation for a natural "ethno-sensitive" result. His natural results have motivated many patients to travel from all over the world to seek his sound ethnic nasal techniques.