American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

Rhinoplasty in Indian Americans Requires Unique Considerations
Plastic Surgeons Should Be Aware of Cultural, Aesthetic and Surgical Differences

Arlington Heights, Ill. - As increasing numbers of Indian Americans seek plastic surgery to change the appearance of their nose, plastic surgeons need to be aware of some key differences affecting this "emerging population for aesthetic rhinoplasty". These differences are noted in a report in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

"Indian American rhinoplasty patients present a challenging range of nasal deformities requiring careful surgery planning," write Drs. Sejal M. Patel and ASPS Member Surgeon Rollin K. Daniel. Their report highlights important surgical, cultural and aesthetic considerations affecting rhinoplasty in Indian Americans.

Study Suggests Key Differences in 'Emerging Ethnic Group'

Traditionally, few Indian Americans have sought plastic surgery, reflecting a cultural emphasis on "inner beauty," according to Drs. Patel and Daniel. However, they write, "in the last two decades the pursuit of 'outer beauty' has gained momentum, concurrent with the 'Bollywood' film industry."

A growing number of Indian America patients-mainly women, but also some men-are seeking cosmetic surgery. The Indian American population grew rapidly in the last decade, now exceeding 2.5 million. "Most Indians living in America are immigrants or first generation Americans and thus present an emerging population for aesthetic rhinoplasty," Drs. Patel and Daniel write.

The researchers performed a detailed analysis of their experience with 35 Indian American rhinoplasty patients. Through interviews, photographs and surgical experience, they sought to gain insights into the nature of their complaints and goals for improving their appearance.

The findings helped clarify the specific reasons why Indian Americans seek rhinoplasty. The most common complaint was a "bump" on the nose in profile. Other patients felt that their nose was too large, or that the tip of the nose was "drooping."

Preserving Ethnic Identity Is Key Goal

Although they wanted to change their appearance, all of the patients wanted to preserve their ethnic identity. The authors carefully designed a surgical approach that would meet the patients' desired appearance. The evaluation included "morphing" the patients' photographs in Photoshop to compare the "actual to ideal" shape of the nose.

Based on their findings, Drs. Patel and Daniel define three different categories of Indian American noses and the types of improvements desired. The categories are also intended to help choose the best surgical technique; in some cases, the approach is similar to other ethnic groups that may be more familiar to U.S. plastic surgeons.

The researchers highlight the need for plastic surgeons to appreciate international and ethnic differences in the aesthetic ideal of patients seeking rhinoplasty.

Especially as the Indian American population continues to expand, "It is important that plastic surgeons in the U.S. realize that Indian American rhinoplasty is a distinct entity as these patients have specific criteria for preserving their ethnic identity," Drs. Patel and Daniel conclude. They believe that preoperative "morphing" in Photoshop is a particularly useful tool for establishing the patients' aesthetic goals, and planning a rhinoplasty procedure that will meet those goals.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For over 75 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 11,000 physician members worldwide, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 92 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.

About Wolters Kluwer

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Wolters Kluwer reported 2022 annual revenues of €5.5 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

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