Ethnic Plastic Surgery: Special Considerations

Dating back to 2000, the trends for ethnic plastic surgery demonstrated a boom for people of Asian, Hispanic and Afro-American origin. The total number of plastic surgery procedures for people of ethnic origin totaled more than 3 million, 25% of all plastic surgery procedures in 2008. Both the types of procedures and the numbers for ethnic people have been impressive, including:

Hispanic Plastic Surgery: The number of plastic surgery procedures that Hispanic people more than doubled when compared from 2004 to 2008. Close to 1.3 million Hispanics underwent plastic surgery in 2008. Commonly requested procedures among Hispanics were nose reshaping, breast augmentation, liposuction, Botox®, micro-dermabrasion, injectable wrinkle fillers, and chemical peels.

African Americans: The number of Afro-Americans that underwent plastic surgery doubled from 460,000 procedures in 2004 to 910,000 in 2008. Commonly requested plastic surgery procedures among Afro-Americans were nose reshaping, breast reduction, liposuction, Botox®, injectable wrinkle fillers, chemical peel, and micro-dermabrasion.

Asian Plastic Surgery: The growth in plastic surgery for the Asian population went from 276,000 procedures in 2004 to 866,000 procedures in 2008. Commonly requested procedures among Asians were nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, breast augmentation, Botox®, injectable wrinkle fillers, chemical peel, and micro-dermabrasion.

There reasons for this growth are numerous. Patient financing companies offer a wider range of options, making plastic surgery a more attractive option for all. In fact, plastic surgery costs have been reduced. Technology in plastic surgery has been improved to better support the needs of people of ethnic origin. Though, there are special considerations for people of ethnic origin when it comes to plastic surgery treatment.

Scarring Precautions:

People of ethnic origin may be more likely to scar than Caucasians following plastic surgery procedures. Asian and Afro-American patients may be more likely to develop Keloid and hypertrophic scars which are raised scars. Scars are more likely to occur on the breasts, chest, shoulders and ears. Though, the risk of scarring decreases with age. Plastic surgeons take precautions to reduce the appearance of scars in ethnic patients. They will select incision locations in inconspicuous places. They may recommend less invasive surgery and instruct patients on ways to reduce inflammation following surgery. Scars may also be treated with topical creams, injectable medications, surgical removal or pressure therapy.

Hyper-pigmentation Safeguards:

Ethnic patients are more prone to hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation of the skin following plastic surgery procedures such as laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, laser hair removal and micro-dermabrasion. Hyper-pigmentation is a darkening of the skin in select areas. Hypo-pigmentation refers to the lightening of the skin. Hyper-pigmentation may disappear within several months following the procedure. Hypo-pigmentation is usually permanent. Plastic surgeons identify the risk of pigmentation changes by conducting a skin test prior to cosmetic procedure.

The best part about ethnic plastic surgery is that plastic surgeons have refined skills to preserve the beauty of unique ethnic features while creating an enhancement that is designed to rejuvenate life.

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