"This tremendous growth shows that Hispanics have adopted and adapted to many U.S. cultural norms," said ASPS Past President James Wells, MD, a bi-lingual plastic surgeon. "Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in America and body image is increasingly important to them as they move up the socio-economic ladder."
According to ASPS statistics, the most commonly requested surgical cosmetic procedures for Hispanics in 2004 were nose reshaping, breast augmentation, and liposuction. The most commonly requested minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures for Hispanics were Botox®, microdermabrasion, injectable wrinkle fillers, and chemical peel.
In addition, the most commonly requested surgical procedures for African Americans in 2004 were nose reshaping, breast reduction, and liposuction. The most commonly requested surgical procedures for Asians were nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, and breast augmentation. The most commonly requested minimally-invasive procedures for both ethnic groups were Botox, injectable wrinkle fillers, chemical peel, and microdermabrasion. Both African Americans and Asians had a 24 percent increase in cosmetic surgery procedures from 2000.
"We see younger Hispanic baby boomers and patients in their 20s and 30s coming in for minimally-invasive procedures and surgical procedures like liposuction and breast augmentation most often," said Dr. Wells. "These generations tend to be more accepting and open about cosmetic surgery."
Reality TV shows are also creating a greater public awareness for cosmetic surgery in the Hispanic community.
"Hispanics are getting more exposure to cosmetic surgery through TV programming shown in South America, Central America, and in the United States," said Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons President Onelio Garcia, MD, who estimates 50 percent of his patients are Hispanic. "These shows are helping Hispanic patients become more comfortable with cosmetic surgery by discussing procedural options and showing Hispanic patients and plastic surgeons."
With the number of Hispanics opting for cosmetic surgery increasing, it is ever important for patients to learn what to look for when choosing a plastic surgeon and operating facility.
"Hispanic patients need to be aware of the importance of choosing an ASPS Member Surgeon to ensure quality, training and board-certification in plastic surgery," said Dr. Wells. "There are physicians and non-physicians who may prey on Hispanic patients because of language barriers - building a false sense of trust with the patient simply because they too speak Spanish. Little 'clínicas' and 'boutiques' are not the best places to have cosmetic surgery."
To help ensure optimal results and to limit risks and complications, the ASPS offers the following tips to patients considering cosmetic surgery.
To ensure plastic surgery procedures are not overstated, the ASPS has refined the methodology for its collection of statistics to offer more accurate, reliable, and realistic data on plastic surgery. Since 2003, statistics have been collected through the first online national database for plastic surgery procedures, Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons (TOPS). This data, combined with the annual survey sent to more than 17,000 board-certified physicians in specialties most likely to perform plastic surgery, results in the most comprehensive census on plastic surgery procedures.
For referrals to ASPS Member Surgeons, call 888-4-PLASTIC (888-475-2784) or visit www.plasticsurgery.org. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. With more than 5,000 members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. www.plasticsurgery.org