Plastic surgery preferences vary among ethnic groups in NYC

March 4, 2011

Plastic surgery preferences vary among ethnic groups in NYC
Plastic surgery preferences vary among ethnic groups in NYC

Reports from plastic surgeons in various regions of New York City suggest that patients may be more likely to choose a specific cosmetic surgery based on their race. According to an article in the New York Times, the members of the Dominican population of Upper Manhattan are most likely to seek out a buttocks lift, while women of Russian descent living in Brooklyn opt for breast augmentation.

Plastic surgeons in the Big Apple have developed niche markets, offering special surgeries depending on where their practice is located. For instance, surgeons located near Chinatown may perform more jaw line surgeries because of the high concentration of Koreans in the region interested in the procedure.

There are several issues with this trend, according to the news source. First, doctors must be careful not to stereotype their patients based solely on their race or appearance. Secondly, patients who are not able to receive the type of procedure they desire in their neighborhood may seek out illegal operations, which pose serious health threats or operations from unqualified practitioners.

Typically, surgeons say they see patients who are proud of their ethnicity and want to enhance the characteristics with which they identify culturally. For instance, Italia Vigniero, a 27-year-old woman of Dominican descent, told the news source that she received breast implants in 2008 as a way to give herself “the silhouette of a woman.”

“We Latinas define ourselves with our bodies,” she added in the New York Times interview. “We always have curves.”

Miles away, in Flushing, New York, home to a large Asian population, doctors rarely perform body contour procedures. Instead, they are more likely to be asked to inject soft tissue fillers into earlobes, as large lobes is seen by many in the community as a sign of wealth. Additionally, surgeons in this area often perform rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery, according to the news source.

Patients who are considering undergoing a cosmetic procedure should be sure to talk over their options with a board-certified plastic surgeon, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). It’s important to discuss what will take place during the procedure, how long recovery will take and whether or not there are any side effects or risks associated with the process.

Patients who are looking for a plastic surgeon in their area may want to use the ASAPS website to find-a-surgeon in their area.  


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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