Dr. Richard Balikian a Southern California rhinoplasty surgeon and facial plastic surgeon discusses the art of ethnic rhinoplasty.  Rhinoplasty, as with other cosmetic procedures, is done to alter the natural form with the intention of bringing more aesthetic balance to other features. Currently, it ranks behind liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tucks in rank of most popular cosmetic surgeries. Some get the procedure done to correct a birth deformity or as a corrective procedure after a traumatic event, such as a car accident. Others simply want to correct the look of something they feel nature got wrong, desiring to alter their appearances in ways that makeup cannot.

Traditionally, the clientele in this area of cosmetic medicine have been Caucasian, receiving the same basic nose structure and shape in any given procedure, forcing every patient to adhere to a strictly Westernized appearance. However, cosmetic surgeons are now being trained to perform in an area of cosmetic medicine called ethnic rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is considered an ethnic procedure if the patient is of African American, Hispanic or Asian descent. According to current statistics, over 3 million rhinoplasty procedures were obtained in 2013 by ethnic minorities, with more men having received rhinoplasty procedures than women. This number is more than 240 percent higher than what was reported for minorities in 2000.

Ethnic rhinoplasty is the art of altering, reconstructing, or otherwise modifying some or all of the nose without removing the ethnic traits of the patient. This form of cosmetic alteration has been called an art form due to the high level of skill and creative intuition required. Although all cosmetic surgeons are presented with a “guide” that provides a basic guideline on ethnic features, every person’s features are unique. There is no mold that all faces fit into. This leaves a surgeon in a position to have to envision what the patient’s nose can look like and to create that nose while keeping the look natural and true to ethnic origins. This requires the skill of an artistic and practiced eye.

Most rhinoplasty recipients have listed cosmetic reasons for wanting the procedure done, seeking to balance facial features while maintaining ethnic form.  Cosmetic rhinoplasty surgeons have to take from what is already there to create something new.

With new techniques being taught and the new line of reasoning being adopted by surgeons- one that says there is no mold, people of minorities are enjoying customized nose jobs that suit their desires and ethnic backgrounds.

Dr. Balikian is an experienced, double board certified, facial plastic surgeon.  He is double board certified both in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Balikian belongs to a very select group of elite cosmetic surgeons with at least six years of specialized surgical training exclusively in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and neck.