When it comes to plastic surgery, diverse experience matters. Today’s patients are increasingly seeking procedures that preserve their individuality and cultural heritage, and plastic surgeons must advance their knowledge and techniques to meet this need.
There are both anatomical and cultural considerations that affect the approach for Asian plastic surgery. While there is tremendous diversity among Asian patients, certain features and preferences are seen frequently. For example, Asian patients are at higher risk of excessive scarring and tend to be more scar-averse than caucasian patients.
This article discusses some of the differences between Asian plastic surgery and caucasian plastic surgery. Remember, these are generalised discussions only. As for all plastic surgery, careful evaluation and communication with each patient — along with an individualised surgical approach — are essential to produce a good outcome.
Asian Breast Augmentation vs. Caucasian Breast Augmentation
Asian women often have a different starting point for breast size and shape than caucasian women. Asian women tend to be shorter with a slimmer frame and a low body mass index, and many have a disproportionately large areola compared to their breast size.
Asian women may also have different aesthetic preferences than caucasian women. Most are not seeking a significant increase in size; instead, they wish to improve their body proportions while maintaining a natural look.
To achieve these goals, Asian women often favour smaller implant sizes and teardrop-shaped implants. These choices can yield a subtle and natural breast augmentation result.
Asian Eyelid Surgery vs. Caucasian Eyelid Surgery
The Asian eyelid is often characterised by a poorly defined or absent crease (a “monolid”), an excess of fat, and an epicanthal fold (the skin that covers the inner corner of the eye). Asian blepharoplasty primarily focuses on creating an upper eyelid crease. This is often called double eyelid surgery.
On the other hand, caucasian blepharoplasty is usually performed to remove excess skin and fat to rejuvenate the upper eyelids. The primary purpose of the procedure is to create a more youthful appearance.
Lower blepharoplasty is an option for any patient wishing to rejuvenate their lower eyelids. In this procedure, excess skin and fat are removed to reduce puffy bags under the eyes and create a smoother transition between the eyes and cheeks.
Asian Facelift vs. Caucasian Facelift
Sagging skin, wrinkles and volume loss are inevitable parts of facial ageing for all ethnicities. However, facial aging in Asians often looks different than in caucasians due to the thickness of Asian skin, which helps maintain good skin quality over a longer period.
Additionally, the Asian face may have a flatter and wider skeleton, larger accumulations of fat in the mid-face, and a larger, more square jawline than the average caucasian face. As a result, Asian faces tend to develop a more rectangular and boxy shape over time as skin and facial fat descend.
With these characteristics in mind, Asian facelift surgery tends to focus less on wrinkles and more on repositioning deeper facial tissues. The typical desired outcome is a smooth, oval facial shape rather than the defined and angular shape preferred by many caucasian patients.
Asian Fat Grafting vs. Caucasian Fat Grafting
Fat grafting or fat transfer is a minimally-invasive technique that involves removing body fat from one area and transferring it to another. Often, fat is moved from the abdomen, hips and buttocks to the breasts for natural breast augmentation or to the face for rejuvenation. This technique is increasingly popular among all populations because it reduces scarring and recovery time.
In our practice, we have found that fat grafting has special appeal for Asian patients. Many wish to address their aesthetic preferences but feel hesitant about their results looking unnatural or the procedure leaving behind conspicuous scars. Others worry about the potential implications of introducing non-organic material, such as silicone breast implants, into their body.
Fat grafting offers a way for these patients to achieve their preferred look naturally and subtly with less scarring than a more invasive surgical procedure.
Asian Rhinoplasty vs. Caucasian Rhinoplasty
There are several notable differences in anatomy between Asian and caucasian noses. The Asian nose often has a lower and flatter bridge, a shorter and wider nasal tip, and a broader base. Common complaints for Asian patients seeking rhinoplasty are that their nose is too flat, too wide or too short.
Generally speaking, Asian patients tend to want a larger nose bridge, narrower nostrils and a more refined nose tip. In comparison, caucasian patients request a smaller or narrower nose bridge and/or the removal of a bump on the bridge.
A simple way to look at this is that caucasian patients often require something removed to achieve their rhinoplasty goals (cartilage and/or bone), while Asian patients often require something to be added (an implant or cartilage graft).
Asian Facial Bone Contouring vs. Caucasian Facial Bone Contouring
The bone structure among patients of Asian descent can vary significantly from that of caucasian patients. Asian individuals tend to have wider cheekbones and a flat or “retruded” mid-face. In the lower face, Asians generally have more defined and prominent jaw contours that can give the face a bulky or angular look.
With these natural anatomic variations, it is common to see caucasian patients who want to augment their cheeks or jawlines with dermal fillers or implants. The goal is to make these features more prominent and defined.
Many Asian patients desire the opposite. For these patients, common requests include refining the chin, narrowing the jawline, reducing the cheekbones and creating a softer, more oval-shaped facial profile.
Interested in Asian Plastic Surgery in Sydney?
If you are considering Asian plastic surgery, it is important to select a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is not only experienced in the techniques and anatomical considerations relevant to Asian patients, but also the cultural and social factors. This lays the foundation for a positive experience.
Dr Ellis Choy and Dr Quan Ngo founded Asian Plastic Surgery to serve the unique needs of this community. They are considerate of balancing each patient’s cosmetic goals with the desire to preserve their ethnic identity. To book your consultation, contact our team here or call us on 02 8962 9388 today.