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  • By Peyman Solieman, MD & Jason Litner, MD

    By all accounts, cosmetic plastic surgery is on the rise in America for ethnic patients. In fact, in 2007, ethnic minorities accounted for 22 percent of the nearly 11.7 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in the United States, an increase of 105 percent from 2000. More specifically, in 2007, Hispanics underwent 1,011,071 procedures (up 153% from 2000) while African-American cosmetic surgeries increased 170%.

    Yet, we see a number of ethnic patients every month who tell us they’ve had a hard time finding a surgeon who seems to make a practice of doing “ethnic plastic surgery”. Why?

    Well, in our opinions, there are a few reasons for this:

    The aesthetic is different. We now know that there is tremendous variation in anatomy among and between ethnicities and an equally wide variation in the desired aesthetic.

    When it comes to rhinoplasty, which is by far the most popular facial surgical procedure among ethnic minorities, the nuances of ethnic differences in facial structure and aesthetics require a different type of surgeon: one who moves beyond the “one size fits all model to tailor results.

    Ethnic Pic, Plastic Surgery

    If a surgeon is not experienced with the nuance of ethnic rhinoplasty, this can be hard to accomplish in a natural-looking way. Which brings us to the final point…

    The procedures are different. For a typical rhinoplasty in patients of European ancestry, the focus is usually on making the nose smaller, reducing a bump, etc. and so we trained to remove some tissue in order to accomplish this. Ethnic noses can tend towards thicker skin, softer tip cartilage, weaker septal cartilage, excessive nostril flare, and sometimes lower nasal bridges. For these patients, the emphasis is typically on narrowing and adding to the bridge, refining and supporting the tip, and on specialized procedures such as alar base reduction (nostril narrowing).

    Achieving these goals relies heavily on more advanced grafting techniques in order to have thicker skin drape favorably and show the desired degree of refinement. It is critical to build up tip structure in order to provide not only adequate support but also lasting tip shape and definition. At the same time, most of our patients are seeking refinement in the way of a thinner tip that is not over-built and rock hard. So, there is a balance that needs to be struck and a fairly unforgiving line that needs to be walked. Luckily, with the increase in interest from ethnic patients, we are sure to see more and more surgeons interested in achieving fantastic results for them.

    Please let us know if you have any more detailed questions related to Ethnic facial surgery. You can ask both the doctors questions directly just by clicking the link:

    Ask Peyman Solieman, MD and Jason Litner, MD a Question

    About Peyman Solieman, MD & Jason Litner, MD

    Solieman, Litner, Plastic Surgery

    At their practice named PROFILES (www.beverlyhillsprofiles.com), both Drs. Solieman and Litner meet and consult with you from your initial consultation through to your surgery and at every visit thereafter. We’re the only center that does that, and our great results and satisfied patients are the reasons why.

    Ask Peyman Solieman, MD and Jason Litner, MD a Question