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Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Posted: December 9, 2013

Across the globe, beauty ideals differ drastically. Many ethnic groups view "beautiful" differently, yet no matter the background, more and more beauty-seekers aren’t afraid to turn to plastic surgery to get the aesthetic they want.

Caucasian females still make up the majority of patients seeking cosmetic surgery procedures, yet the proportion of racial and ethnic minorities opting for surgical enhancements is increasing.

In fact, a recent study of American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) members, revealed a 10% increase in facial plastic surgery among Hispanic, Asian American and African American patients in their practices in 2012. The features fixated on by each ethnicity varied considerably however, offering insight into the nuances of different ethnic beauty values.

The survey found that African Americans and Hispanics were most predisposed to have received rhinoplasty (80% and 65% respectively). Asian Americans were most likely to have blepharoplasty (44%) or rhinoplasty (41%), while Caucasians were more likely to have facelifts (40%) or rhinoplasty (39%).

“When a patient comes in from a certain ethnic background we usually have some idea of what the current trends are for that group,” said AAFPRS President Edward H. Farrior, MD, FACS. “For our Asian American patients, we’ve seen an uptick in blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery, while African Americans and Hispanics tend to be more concerned with their noses. It’s our job to listen to the patient and give them what they want without completely obscuring their unique features and individuality.”

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world's largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It represents more than 2,700 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck. AAFPRS members subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by visiting the AAFPRS website, www.AAFPRS.org.

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