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Cosmetic medicine is booming among Latinos but losing appeal among Asians, says a new survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Those findings reflect some of the experience of local cosmetic doctors, but the survey isn’t comprehensive enough to be totally reliable.

LATINOS: According to the ASPS, Hispanics underwent an estimated 1.5 million procedures last year, up 12 percent from 2008.  Reportedly, the most popular procedures for Latinos are:

  1. Breast augmentations
  2. Liposuction
  3. Nose jobs

That’s similar to what plastic surgeon Dr. John Di Saia of San Clemente and Anaheim has observed. He says his young Latino patients tend to have breast implants and liposuction.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Ashkan Ghavami of Beverly Hills says he’s noticed a big increase this year in Latinos seeking plastic surgery. The most common procedures, he says, are mommy makeovers, breast augmentation and lifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, and buttock augmentation.

Dermatologist Dr. David Sire of Fullerton says he has seen an increase in Hispanic patients requesting liposuction and tummy tucks.

ASIANS: The ASPS survey concluded that Asians in the United States had an estimated 740,000 procedures last year, down 17 percent from 2008.  The most popular surgical procedures for Asians reportedly are:

  1. Nose jobs
  2. Eyelid surgery
  3. Breast augmentations

Ghavami’s Asian patients, he says, have been “very cautious as a whole during the worst of the recession.” The “top of their list” of procedures, he says, are breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, and nose jobs.

Sire’s Asian patients “have had more interest in [skin] resurfacing and pigment issues,” he says. For Di Saia, Asians patients have gotten breast implants.

BLACKS: African-Americans underwent an estimated 990,000 procedures last year, up 5 percent from 2008, according to the group. The most popular surgical procedures for African-Americans reportedly are:

  1. Liposuction
  2. Nose jobs
  3. Breast reductions

The findings continue a trend of previous years for Latinos and African-Americans, but they’re a reversal for Asians.  Three years ago, Asian Americans were turning to plastic surgery at a faster pace than any other group, according to the ASPS survey of 2007.   The number of cosmetic medical procedures for Asians grew 26 percent in 2007, to a total of 767,800, the survey found.

Latinos underwent an estimated total of 1,011,000 procedures in 2007, while African-Americans had 847,800, that year’s survey said.

Regarding ethnic plastic surgery, the group said in an earlier  press release:

“The majority of patients want to maintain their ethnic identity. They do not want to lose important facial features that exhibit racial character.

For instance, the typical Asian patient who has eyelid surgery desires a wider, fuller eye that is natural looking to the Asian face and maintains an almond shape.

An African American patient interested in nose reshaping may want to reduce the size of their nose to achieve a harmonious balance with other facial features, but is not seeking a nose that is more European.”


This year’s ASPS survey also spotted slight variations from region to region within the United States:

  • Breast augmentations are the most popular procedure in all regions except the Northeast, wherenose jobs are the most popular.
  • Breast implant removals have the most fans in the South from Alabama to Texas.
  • Dermabrasion’s fans are most often found in the Midwest.
  • Laser treatment of leg veins is more popular in the West than elsewhere.
  • Liposuction is more popular in the West than elsewhere.
  • Dermal fillers are more popular in the Northeast, followed by the West.


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