What Do I Need Done For My Ethnic Rhinoplasty?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in ethnic rhinoplasty. I have a very flat noseand would like to narrow bridge significantly to enhance my facial features as well as narrow the tip. My ideal nose features are those of Halle Berry, Beyonce and Vanessa Williams. Can you achieve this finish by reshaping my nose?

A: The first issue about ethnic rhinoplasty, and any rhinoplasty for that matter, is that trying to have the nose of someone can never be achieved. It is good to have a desired rhinoplasty goal. But in the end, no matter how well executed a rhinoplasty is done, factors such as the thickness of the overlying nasal skin will have a major influence on the final nose shape result.

I have done some imaging work on your pictures. The picture quality is not great but they are useable. Your nose is interesting because it looks the way it does because the nose has little cartilage support from the underlying septum which is why the tip is flat, the bridge is low and the nostrils are flared/wide. This is not unusual in African-American noses who often has weak septal support and widely splayed nasal cartilages with short nasal bones.

To make any significant changes to your nose, you would need an L-shape cartilage graft to both build up the tip and the bridge. Much like making a roof on a house, underlying support is need to build up your nose to give it more projection which is what will make it look more narrow and refined. This amount of support can only come from a shaped rib cartilage graft. Your nostrils would also need to be reduced/narrowed at the same time. The imaging predictions show some of the changes but be aware the frontal view image does not do justice to what would really happen when the entire bridge and nose comes forward as the computer software can not really show what happens as the nose is pulled forward. In short, the real result would look much better from the front that the imaging shows. I don’t know if your nose would look exactly like Vanessa Williams but it would be a lot closer than it is now.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana