BACKGROUND: Rhinoplasty remains one of the most challenging operations, as exemplified in the Middle Eastern patient. The ill-defined, droopy tip, wide and high dorsum, and thick skin envelope mandate meticulous attention to preoperative evaluation and efficacious yet safe surgical maneuvers. The authors provide a systematic approach to evaluation and improvement of surgical outcomes in this patient population. METHODS: A retrospective, 3-year review identified patients of Middle Eastern heritage who underwent primary rhinoplasty and those who did not but had nasal photographs. Photographs and operative records (when applicable) were reviewed. Specific nasal characteristics, component-directed surgical techniques, and aesthetic outcomes were delineated. RESULTS: The Middle Eastern nose has a combination of specific nasal traits, with some variability, including thick/sebaceous skin (excess fibrofatty tissue), high/wide dorsum with cartilaginous and bony humps, ill-defined nasal tip, weak/thin lateral crura relative to the skin envelope, nostril-tip imbalance, acute nasolabial and columellar-labial angles, and a droopy/hyperdynamic nasal tip. An aggressive yet nondestructive surgical approach to address the nasal imbalance often requires soft-tissue debulking, significant cartilaginous framework modification (with augmentation/ strengthening), tip refinement/rotation/projection, low osteotomies, and depressor septi nasi muscle treatment. The most common postoperative defects were related to soft-tissue scarring, thickened skin envelope, dorsum irregularities, and prolonged edema in the supratip/tip region. CONCLUSIONS: It is critical to improve the strength of the cartilaginous framework with respect to the thick, noncontractile skin/soft-tissue envelope, particularly when moderate to large dorsal reduction is required. A multitude of surgical maneuvers are often necessary to address all the salient characteristics of the Middle Eastern nose and to produce the desired aesthetic result.
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