We list five of the most common Asian nose problems and discuss how to fix them.
The Asian nose is characterized by a low bridge height, wide nasal base and thick skin. While differences exist according to gender, ethnic origin and individual features, Asian nose surgery patients often have similar aesthetic concerns. Pulling off a successful Asian nose surgery requires specialized skills together with a strong appreciation of Asiatic nasal anatomy.
1. Low bridge height
A low Asian nose bridge is sometimes accompanied by short nasal bones and a correspondingly low radix. In such cases, the objective of Oriental rhinoplasty is to make the Asian nose taller and more aquiline in profile. This can be achieved through the addition of cartilage grafts, which are taken from the septum in primary nasal surgeries, and from the ear or rib for secondary and reconstructive rhinoplasties.
Another alternative is to use an implant made out of either silicone or porex (Medpor). This method is now seen as controversial due to risks associated with nose implants, such as deviation, infection and implant extrusion. In South Korea, diced cartilage grafts are now more commonly used in order to increase the nasal bridge height.
Due to the popularity of this type of Asian nose surgery, tourists are flocking to Seoul to augment their nasal bridges. 31 year old Dawn made a recovery blog, detailing how she had always desired a higher nasal bridge – a dream that was finally realized in South Korea.
2. A flat appearance
While an Asian button nose is seen as ‘cute’ by some, some Asian men and women feel that their dorsal height is too low or out of proportion with the nasal tip. This can lend a flat Asian nose a ‘squished’ or even boxer’s nose appearance. If the columella is short, the angle between the upper lip and the nose can look obtuse and retruded. In such cases, a cartilage strut graft helps to increase the length of the columella, improving the nasolabial angle and nostril shape and making the nose sharper in profile.
3. Bulbous nose tip
One of the most common Asian nose issues is the presence of a wide nose tip, which may also curve inwards. Possible causes are nasal bone width, thick skin, and the base of the nose appearing wider than aesthetically desirable. Tip plasty surgery is a solution to this issue, where the width of the nose is addressed via soft tissue reduction methods. Thinning the nasal tip is often done in conjunction with a full rhinoplasty.
Emmeline Ang, a blogger from Singapore, underwent a successful surgery to reshape her nose at South Korea’s ID hospital. Her surgery included the reduction of her bulbous nose tip.
4. Thick nasal skin
Vietnamese and Filipino patients in particular present with issues relating to thick nasal skin. In such cases, the problem can be corrected via an advanced rhinoplasty procedure known as ‘nasal defatting’. This is where the skin envelope of the Asian nose is lifted off the muscle layer through an open incision, exposing the fat layer underneath. The surgeon then thins this layer out, making the nose less fat.
In South Korea, a CT scan is sometimes taken prior to nasal defatting, which allows the surgeon to assess how thick the nasal tissue is.
5. Wide Asian nose bridge
Poor nasal definition often accompanies a nose that is too wide. Lateral osteotomies involve breaking and resetting the nasal bones, narrowing the nose’s vertical width and giving it a sleeker, more contoured appearance. If the bottom of the nose appears to be too wide, an alar base reduction can move the nostrils inward. In cases of significant width, a sill excision is sometimes performed, although this does carry risks of scarring as well as giving the nose a somewhat unnatural appearance.