What is a rhinoplasty?
A rhinoplasty is a cosmetic procedure done to enhance your facial harmony and nose proportions. This procedure is very popular and is performed on clients of a wide age range. Rhinoplasty can treat many irregularities of the nose, including:
- Nose size.
- Nose width at the bridge.
- Profile of the nose with visible humps on the bridge.
- An enlarged nasal tip.
- Large, upturned, or wide nostrils.
- Nasal asymmetry.
Rhinoplasty can also be performed to correct a deviated septum, a condition in which the nasal septum is crooked or off-center, causing difficulty breathing. Dr. Walker can adjust the nasal structure to produce proper alignment for easier breathing.
What is African American Rhinoplasty?
Noses in individuals of African descent tend to have thicker skin and a wider nasal base with flared nostrils. It is vital to take these factors into account while performing an African American rhinoplasty procedure to ensure natural-looking results. There are special techniques that Dr. Walker uses to refine the nose, make it slimmer and more pointed, without compromising nasal breathing. In fact, Dr. Walker’s goal in every single nasal surgery is not just to improve the cosmetic appearance of your nose but also to improve your nasal breathing even if you do not (or think you do not) have any breathing issues. Very commonly, patients return after the operation stating that their breathing has improved significantly although they thought they never had any breathing issues.
Who is a Good Candidate for African American Rhinoplasty?
Men and women alike of African descent who are unhappy with the look of their nose may be able to benefit from an African American rhinoplasty procedure. The best candidates are in good physical health, are non-smokers, and have realistic expectations for the results of their surgery.
African American rhinoplasty can help improve the nose in many ways, including:
- Remove unwanted dorsal humps.
- Decrease or increase the size of the nose.
- Narrow the nasal width.
- Increase the projection of the nose.
- Add height to a flat nose.
- Refine the tip of the nose.
- Narrow the nostrils.
How is the African American Rhinoplasty Procedure Done?
An African American rhinoplasty is not a one-size-fits-all procedure, as African American noses tend to be very heterogeneous depending on the Ethnic heritage with specific characteristics that require specialized knowledge and experience to shape the nose. For instance, individuals of Nigerian ancestry tend to have very different nasal shapes than individuals of Ethiopian descent, with the former exhibiting thicker nasal skin, low bridges, and wider nostrils, while the latter exhibiting thinner skin with dorsal humps. The approach is therefore quite different and tailored to each patient. As a renowned double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Walker will take your facial structure and personal aesthetic goals into consideration during your rhinoplasty for natural-looking results that are in alignment with your remaining facial features and ethnic background.
African American rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. A small incision is typically made on the columella between your nostrils. Dr. Walker will utilize cartilage grafts from your nasal septum or a secondary donor site if necessary to create the desired shape and also improve your nasal breathing. If the nasal bridge needs to be built up, Dr. Walker typically uses the DCF (diced cartilage fascia) technique where your own cartilage is diced into very fine pieces and wrapped into a thin layer of fascia that’s harvested from behind the ear to achieve the smoothest possible result without risk of warping. Once Dr. Walker has sculpted the underlying nasal structure to the desired shape, your nasal skin will be redraped and incisions will be closed using sutures.
African American Rhinoplasty Recovery
African American rhinoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis where you will go home the day of your surgery under the care of a responsible adult family member or friend. The recovery from African American rhinoplasty occurs in various stages. There is an initial 1- to 2-week period during which the bruising (if present) subsides and the nasal external and internal swelling improves for improved airflow. The nasal cast and sutures will be removed one week after your procedure. Most clients experience some discomfort for the first couple of days that most patients can control with Tylenol although some prescription pain medication is prescribed to you in case you do experience some discomfort. You are encouraged to rest during the first week and to adhere to Dr. Walker’s thorough post-operative instructions including to a low-sodium diet, avoidance of strenuous activities, no nose-blowing, no straining with bowel movements, and avoidance of coughing if possible.
This is followed by a 4- to 6-week period of continued swelling resolution during which strenuous activities and salt/sodium intake are discouraged. The post-surgical period is almost over, and the detailed post-operative results are starting to become more apparent. There is still residual swelling on the nose, and this will change from day to day. Some days, the nose will look better than others, as the swelling continues to go up and down. This is especially true in individuals with thick nasal skin, which is not uncommon in individuals of African descent. The residual swelling is starting to decrease from top to bottom. The top of the nose (bridge) is looking more refined. Strenuous activities may be resumed after 4-6 weeks.
By the three months mark at the latest, you have gotten used to the new facial aesthetic that your African American rhinoplasty has given you. Generally, most of the visible changes will have occurred by then although it really takes a year or so for the final nasal shape to be present. Most clients no longer feel subconscious about their nose after 4-6 weeks and are ready for their wedding photos to be taken after about 2-3 months. The tip of the nose is usually the last area to completely “heal.” There may still be a small amount of fullness in this area after 3-6 months. Dr. Walker will closely monitor your healing throughout the recovery process with regular follow-up visits.
You will be able to enjoy full final results after about one year.