African-American Rhinoplasty Boston

The nose is the focal point of the face. That’s why it is essential for surgeons to understand, respect and preserve the natural contours of a patient’s face.

What is African-American Rhinoplasty?

Nose reshaping procedures were reported as the most common cosmetic procedure in the US in 2020. The technique used for any nose reshaping procedure will completely depend on each patient’s specific characteristics and aims. Our ethnicity determines our physical features and therefore will hugely impact the type of nose reshaping technique that can be performed and will be most suitable to achieve the patient’s needs.

The number of African-American patients who underwent a cosmetic procedure in 2018 in the US was reported to be 1,617,300, which made up 9% of the overall number of patients. The American Society of Plastic Surgery additionally reported that African-American Rhinoplasty patients made up 6% of the total rhinoplasty patients in 2018.

Generally, African American patients tend to have a wider and lower nasal bridge, thicker skin, and wider nostrils. African-American Rhinoplasty has an 88% worth-it rating on RealSelf and can significantly enhance the confidence of many patients. For more information on the general benefits of undergoing nose reshaping procedures, you can view our blog on the 5 Surprising Benefits of a nose job.

Typical Aims of African-American Rhinoplasty

The most common requests from African-American Rhinoplasty patients tend to include:

  • Narrowing of the nostrils
  • Narrower/ more defined nasal bridge
  • Nasal tip refinement 

African-American Rhinoplasty Techniques

The specific African American Rhinoplasty technique used will depend on each patient’s personal goals for the surgery and which area of the nose they desire to be altered. Some of the common techniques performed to address the concerns of patients include: 


Alarplasty is a type of nose reshaping procedure that specifically alters the nostrils. Since many African-American Rhinoplasty patients have concerns over the width of their nostrils, alarplasty is one of the most commonly requested procedures as it narrows the width of the nostrils. The nostrils or ‘alar’ do not contain any cartilage and are instead made out of soft tissue so the procedure simply involves removing some of this tissue. Healthline describes the two main techniques used to narrow the nostrils:

Wedge excisions – this technique removes wedges of the alar (nostril’s soft tissue) to reduce the width of the nostrils. The Weir technique is an extension of this procedure that aligns the excision with the curve of the nostrils to help minimize scarring.

Nasal sill– this technique creates an incision into both of the nostrils in varying shapes to remove specific amounts of alar tissue to reduce the width of the nostrils.

Additionally, these two techniques can be combined to achieve a more significant narrowing of the nostrils. The technique must be completely customized for the individual and the position of the eyes can help to determine the suitable amount to reduce the width of the nostrils by.

Although this technique is highly successful at reducing the width of the nostrils, for many patients the procedure is not performed alone as it changes the harmony of the rest of the nose. This means that many patients also desire adjustments to other areas of their nose to ensure that the elements of the nose are harmonious and in proportion with each other. Further considerations for those who desire to merely undergo alarplasty are that the tip can droop if the surgery is performed in isolation. It is important to meet with a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your goals and see whether you would be most suitable for alarplasty combined with other rhinoplasty techniques.

Dorsum Surgery

African-American Rhinoplasty patients who have concerns over a wide nasal dorsum can have dorsum surgery to narrow the width of the cartilage and bone which runs down the nasal bridge. According to NCBI, the nasal dorsum is narrowed using lateral nasal osteotomies, where a scalpel is used to cut into the cartilage on either side of the nasal bridge to narrow its width and reshape the area. The amount the dorsum is reduced by will depend on the specific width of the patient’s nose and their desired outcome. Some patients only require minimal reshaping and small amounts of cartilage to be scultped to make a minimal adjustment to the nasal bridge. However, for other patients the nasal and maxillary bones need to be broken and reset to achieve the ideal shape as they desire the dorsum’s width to be significantly narrowed.

Tip Rhinoplasty

There are various tip rhinoplasty techniques that can be used to reshape, refine or lift the nasal tip. Most African-American patients have weak cartilage on the tip of their nose. This is the case for many ethnicities and these patients are therefore more suitable for techniques that use cartilage grafts rather than attempt to reshape the existing weak cartilage. The cartilage graft tends to be taken from the patient’s own cartilage on their nasal septum or their ear and is inserted onto the nasal tip, and in some cases also on the nasal bridge to add reinforcement and alter its shape.

Recovery From African-American Rhinoplasty 

Alarplasty can take less time to recover from due to the fact that no bone or cartilage reshaping took place and only the soft tissue of the nostrils was affected. Patients will still have a splint on their nose for the first week following the procedure and will require a follow-up appointment with Dr. Markarian so he can remove the splint. Generally, it takes up to two weeks to recover from the procedure and some discomfort can occur and painkillers will be prescribed. 

African-American patients who have undergone more extensive nose reshaping procedures will tend to have a longer recovery period. These patients will also have a splint for the first week after surgery and will require a follow-up appointment with Dr. Markarian to have it removed. Swelling is likely to continue for the first few months and it can take up to a year for the full results of the procedure to be visible.

How Much Does African-American Rhinoplasty in Boston Cost?

Alarplasty is much cheaper than most other nose reshaping procedures as according to Healthline, it generally costs between $2,000 and $3,000. This is due to the fact the technique solely focuses on the nostrils and does not include any alterations to the rest of the nose.

However, alarplasty is often combined with other nose reshaping techniques and so the cost is much greater, which is why it is reported that the average cost for African-American Rhinoplasty in Boston ranges from $15,000 to $35,000. This range is so extensive due to the fact nose reshaping procedures will significantly vary since they are customizable. For example, more extensive nose reshaping procedures such as dorsum surgery are more expensive. The specific cost of your procedure will depend on the techniques performed and the time taken.

During your consultation, Dr. Markarian will give you an indication of the cost of your procedure, but for more information on the general costs of nose reshaping procedures you can view our blog on funding a nose job.


Initial Side Effects:

  • Swelling 
  • Occasionally bleeding can occur

Alarplasty Risks:

  • Scarring
  • Discharge
  • Infection


If you are considering undergoing a nose reshaping procedure you should visit a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who has extensive knowledge and skills in performing African-American Rhinoplasty in Boston. During your consultation, you should discuss your specific goals and aims so that the most suitable techniques can be recommended.

Contact Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Mark Markarian for a consultation.