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Plastic surgery today has become widely accessible and more socially acceptable. Television shows and internet sites have contributed largely to this phenomenon and brought the practice of plastic surgery along with all its images, good and bad, literally into every home. The result has been a much wider public understanding and acceptance of plastic surgery across the spectrum, including the various ethnic populations that make up the world and, particularly, the United States. Drs. Solieman and Litner are distinctly aware of the anatomic and aesthetic variations that are important in operating on individuals of various ethnic backgrounds.
Traditionally, ethnic rhinoplasty has meant a move toward the more fully developed Caucasian “ideal” regardless of the patient’s ethnicity. Much of this owes to the fact that most of the early rhinoplasty texts originated in Europe or the United States, where the predominant demographic group undergoing plastic surgery at the time was Caucasian. The Neoclassical “ideal” features of shape and form were derived from artistic renderings during the Renaissance. They are still held as the “standard” for facial analysis in most modern textbooks. However, one glance at the multi-faceted ethnic landscape of our modern times shows that one set of ideals cannot possibly be relied upon to set the standard of beauty.
Drs. Litner and Solieman have focused attention in their rhinoplasty practice on the differences in anatomy and aesthetics they have seen from patients of various ethnic backgrounds. They note that harmony and balance are elements of beauty that are universal. Regardless of ethnicity, these elements form the objectives of any surgical plan. A nose that is larger, wider, or thicker than the Neoclassical Caucasian “accepted norm” can be brought into balance with the individual patient’s facial form, so that it is attractive irrespective of the individual’s race or ethnicity. Moreover, all of the surgical techniques that we describe and utilize can be modified in order to retain ethnic characteristics while modifying or softening some of the extreme ethnic differences that may be offsetting for some patients.
In talking about rhinoplasty, we recognize the importance of discussing with you, our patient, what your desires are rather than what our preconceived notions of beauty might be. We welcome you to review the following pages that detail some of the unique anatomic characteristics that make rhinoplasty so individualized. In each case, specific attention is drawn toward structural and soft tissue differences that have been described for the various ethnicities so that you can understand and place into context the reasons Drs. Solieman and Litner may suggest specific surgical techniques and discourage others that they believe to be less beneficial in your case.
At times, broad generalizations may be made that do not aptly describe all members of any particular ethnic group. In fact, there may be as much or more variability within groups as between them. While we recognize and respect this range of variability, in an attempt to better inform you, we present this information so you can appreciate the challenges unique to specific populations.