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Home >> Getting Informed >> Ethnic Plastic surgery
Ethnic Plastic surgery

Ethnic plastic surgery increased 11 percent in 2008, with more than 3 million cosmetic procedures performed among African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians. By contrast, procedures among Caucasians dropped 2 percent in 2008. The greatest surge in cosmetic treatment occurred within the Hispanic community. In fact, Hispanics comprised 10 percent of the 12 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in 2008. African-Americans accounted for 8 percent, and Asians accounted for 7 percent.

Ethnic Plastic surgery is on the rise despite the current economic downturn. Why is that?

"There is an increased awareness of the availability of ethnically specific and ethnically appropriate cosmetic treatments. There is also a growing number of surgeons who specialize in ethnic plastic surgery and their techniques can allow patients to maintain their ethnicity."

Are people trying to enhance or obscure their ethnic identity with ethnic plastic surgery?

"Enhance it. Ethnic identity and respect for different ethnicities is at an all-time high.

In 2008, the most commonly requested minimally invasive cosmetic procedures for all ethnic groups were Botox, fillers and chemical peels. What can ethnic patients expect if they opt for such procedures?

"A lot. People with darker pigments, including Latinos, African-Americans and Asians don't show the obvious signs of aging until much later in life when compared to individuals with fairer complexions. If they come in during their 40s with moderate signs of aging, they can get a significant return from a lot of the non-surgical procedures that are currently available.

What surgical procedures are ethnic patients most interested in these days?

"African-Americans are coming in for liposuction, nose reshaping and breast reduction. Asians seem most interested in nose reshaping, blepharoplasty or Asian blepharoplasty, and breast augmentation; and Hispanics are drawn to liposuction, breast augmentation and ethnic rhinoplasty."

Is scarring more likely after ethnic Plastic surgery?

"The risk of scarring and pigment abnormalities are definite concerns with cosmetic procedures in ethnic patients, but a plastic surgeon with experience treating ethnic skin can minimize this risk. For example, injecting wrinkle fillers deeper into the skin can reduce the risk of skin darkening. Scarring is also a risk with laser skin resurfacing in people with dark skin, but fractionated lasers have settings that can be used safely and effectively in these populations. Pretreatment with skin bleach and Retin-A are also very effective ways to condition the skin and reduce the risk of scarring before laser skin resurfacing or laser hair removal. Pretreatment can start anytime from two to six weeks before the procedure, and can continue for a couple of weeks post-treatment. On the surgery side, it's important to minimize skin tension in ethnic patients. Too much tension on ethnic skin can lead to a bad scar or a keloid. Tension can be minimized by stitching up the deeper skin layers when closing up an incision."

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