African American Rhinoplasty Overview
Treats: Size, shape, and asymmetry of the nose
Length: Varies from 2 to 4 hours
Side Effects: Patients may experience swelling and bruising around the eyes and nose, slight bleeding and stuffiness when breathing through the nose.
Risks: Anytime a patient has surgery, there is a risk of bleeding, infection, scarring, or side effects from anesthesia.
Recovery: Most patients return to work or school one week after a rhinoplasty. Some patients choose to take two weeks off. Patients are encouraged to start walking and doing light exercise starting two weeks after surgery. Full exercise can start 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Duration of Results: Permanent
Remarkable Care, Exceptional Results
“Researching a plastic surgeon to perform rhinoplasty on an African American person is very complicated. I wanted a plastic surgeon who could change my wide, bulbous nose into something more suitable for my face without changing my cultural identity. Dr. Kulbersh did that for me. He addressed all of my questions and concerns. This was an incredible experience from start to finish; I would like to thank the staff for being so helpful and kind. I am so very happy with my new nose. Dr. Kulbersh is truly gifted. Many thanks!”
It’s all about your nose. Patients seeking rhinoplasty are interested in creating a nose that is in proportion to their other facial features. Ethnic rhinoplasty is the most commonly requested cosmetic procedure by patients of African American descent. While there is tremendous variability in each African American nose, patients often inquire about a nose job because they feel their nose is too wide, too big, or does not fit their face.
The top aesthetic destination of the south, Carolina Facial Plastics, is led by double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh. With his team of cosmetic experts, a fully accredited surgery center, and a private recovery retreat all located in the heart of SouthPark, Carolina Facial Plastics is known for
unparalleled and natural-looking results exclusively for the face.
The goal of every African American nose job at Carolina Facial Plastics is unique to each patient. Every patient will have different goals to be defined during an in-depth consultation with Dr. Kulbersh. However, all of our African American nose jobs share a common goal, creating a nose that best fits the face.
In general, African American patients want to achieve the following goals with their rhinoplasty surgery:
- Make the nostrils more narrow
- Increase the projection of the nose when looking at the profile
- Improve the definition of the tip
- Fix the drooping tip
- Create a nose that is balanced with the other facial features
Learn more about African rhinoplasty surgery at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
No single quality is present in every nose. However, some characteristics are more common in African American noses. An ethnic rhinoplasty specialist should identify these features. Dr. Kulbersh examines the noses of all of his African American patients for the following unique qualities:
- The thickness of the nasal skin – African American skin can be thicker, inelastic, and sebaceous. Thick skin can limit the amount of definition we can achieve.
- Length of the nasal bone – African Americans may have shorter nasal bones. Short nasal bones do not support the nose well. Additional supporting grafts must be placed into the nose to prevent collapse many years after the surgery.
- Definition of the nasal tip – The African American nasal tip is often poorly defined and may droop down. The tip will require special maneuvers to achieve definition, although this may be limited due to thick skin.
- Size of the nose – The African American nose may be small when looking at the profile because it may not stick out far from the face. In this case, the nose actually may have to be made BIGGER so that it appears SMALLER. This point is often hard for the patient to understand, but Dr. Kulbersh will explain this concept further during a consultation.
- Size of the nostrils – If the nostrils are wide and flared, they may need to be narrowed with an alar base reduction procedure.
- Support of the nose – The cartilage in the nose may be weak. Since the nose has to last a lifetime, the nasal structure must be strengthened so that the nose does not change over time.
African American nose surgery focuses more on reconstruction techniques compared to Caucasian rhinoplasties. A bony and cartilaginous framework supports the nose. The cartilage in African American noses tends to be weaker and require more support. Cartilage may be strengthened using the following techniques:
- Cartilage from the nose and other areas of the body added to support the nose and tip
- Nose built up from the profile view with the addition of more cartilage
The nostrils are typically narrowed with incisions made in the creases of the nose. They are placed in this location to hide the delicate incision lines. During surgery, Dr. Kulbersh uses special sutures and grafts to define the nasal tip.
Cartilage may be harvested from other areas of the body to support and rebuild the nose. Cartilage can be harvested from the following three locations:
- Nasal septum – The cartilage that separates the right and left nasal passageway
- Ear – The incision is hidden behind the ear, and there is very little noticeable change to the appearance of the ear
- Rib – On noses that require a considerable amount of cartilage, a small piece of a rib can be harvested if necessary
Often patients ask for an implant, such as silicone or Gore-Tex, to help build and strengthen the nose. While this will make the surgery easier for the surgeon, Dr. Kulbersh rarely places unnatural permanent products into the nose during an African American rhinoplasty in Charlotte due to the higher risk of complications.
Recovery from rhinoplasty generally lasts 1-2 weeks. You will be able to return to work or other daily activities within about 7-10 days after the surgery.
Here are some general guidelines for recovering from an ethnic rhinoplasty procedure:
All patients can stay in a recovery suite with a private nurse or have a private nurse in their home for the first few nights if desired. This is not necessary but can be a very comfortable option.
- Incisions are cleaned during the first week.
- Cast and tape remain on the nose for one week.
- The nose will need to be irrigated after one week.
- You will be instructed to begin using special creams to help with the healing process, starting at week two.
- You may return to walking after one week and more vigorous exercise at three weeks.
For the best surgical experience possible, we encourage patients to schedule their surgeries at Fairview Surgical Suites, Dr. Kulbersh’s private surgical facility located in Charlotte. After your procedure, we invite you to book a room at Dr. Kulbersh’s new recovery center, Fairview Recovery Retreat. In both centers, you will receive the highest level of medical care in a private, luxurious setting. To learn more about rhinoplasty, visit medlineplus.gov
Dr. Kulbersh has spent a great deal of time focusing on the unique qualities and the cultural desires of his African American patients. Historically, ethnic rhinoplasty surgeons did the same surgical procedures on all types of nose jobs. This resulted in unacceptable results for African American patients. You can trust you are in good hands with Dr. Kulbersh, as he is a facial plastic surgeon who understands the distinctive aspects of the African American nose.
Dr. Kulbersh completed a competitive fellowship in facial plastic surgery in Beverly Hills, where he performed ethnic rhinoplasties on patients from around the world. He recently authored a chapter in a prominent rhinoplasty medical journal, Rhinoplasty Archive, detailing the steps in an African American nose job. Dr. Kulbersh is considered an ethnic rhinoplasty specialist in Charlotte, NC.
At Carolina Facial Plastics, we take a unique approach to rhinoplasty in our African American patients. Dr. Kulbersh strives to understand your desires and goals. With his knowledge and understanding of the African American nose, he can refine your nose to enhance your natural beauty. Your nose is special, and we believe you should only trust your most prominent feature to a nasal specialist.
Call (704) 842-3644 or complete our online contact form to schedule your ethnic rhinoplasty with Dr. Kulbersh today in Charlotte, NC.
Frequently asked questions
During your consultation with Dr. Kulbersh, you will spend a substantial amount of time discussing your goals for your nose job. Dr. Kulbersh will ask you questions about your lifestyle and health history to make sure you are a good candidate for nose surgery. Additionally, he will evaluate your health status, examine your face and discuss surgery options. Finally, he will answer all of your questions and address your concerns about the surgery and your likely outcomes.
This is typically one of the first questions Dr. Kulbersh receives from his patients. Everyone heals differently, but a good rule of thumb is that 60-70% of the swelling will be gone after three weeks, and the remaining will continue to resolve over the first year. Typically, swelling may be worse in the open approach or in patients that have the nasal bones broken during the procedure.
The nose heals slowly, but after the first month, one should get a good appreciation of the final result. The final result is best appreciated around one year after surgery.
Nose job recovery generally lasts between 1-2 weeks. The patient will wear a splint on the nose for protection for the first week. Most patients can return to work or other daily activities, within moderation, 7-10 days after surgery.
No, Dr. Kulbersh knows the importance of preserving your ethnic identity and reshaping your nose to complement your face perfectly. He has a thorough understanding of the African American facial structure, nose types, and aesthetics, and can provide you with natural-looking results.
While Dr. Kulbersh cannot reveal all of his secrets here, the high profile patients he has operated on in Beverly Hills cannot afford to have a long downtime after a rhinoplasty procedure. Dr. Kulbersh has learned many small “tricks of the trade” that he believes decrease bruising and swelling after a nose rhinoplasty procedure.
The cost of a nose job varies based on the specific nose issues the patient needs to be corrected. During your consultation with Dr. Kulbersh, you will thoroughly discuss the cost.