I’m African American and I think I have a somewhat typical African American nose. What sort of changes do you often make to the nose for African American patients?
While generalizations can be a useful way of categorizing and communicating, ultimately what is most important is the patient’s specific anatomy – your specific anatomy. If the specific patient in my office fits the “general rule,” then that is fine. But, more than likely (as we are all unique) the patient’s nose will deviate from the general rule in some way.So, I prefer to talk about the thick-skinned nose, the wide nose, the flat nose. The treatment of these problems is the same regardless of race, religion or creed!
Having said that, the traits that are ascribed to the “typical” African-American nose are thick skin with abundant fibrofatty tissue; a low, wide and flat nasal bridge with short nasal bones, and a broad, bulbous, thick-skinned, nasal tip. The “typical” African-American nose is generally flat, broad and short. The nasal tip tends to be rounded and poorly defined. There tends to be less projection than is desired. The decrease in nasal projection tends to be exaggerated by a prominent or protruding upper lip.
Treatment of the wide upper portion often involves osteotomies (cutting the nasal bone with a “micro-osteotome” and shifting them closer to the middle – narrowing the nose. Also, removal of excessive fatty tissue from the tip, strengthening and projecting the tip, and narrowing the nostrils are several techniques that I commonly employ in this sort of rhinoplasty.
Posted by Dr. Becker