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Indian American rhinoplasties need studied approach

Arlington Heights, Ill. — A recently released report suggests that as more Indian Americans seek rhinoplasties, plastic surgeons will have to become more aware of certain surgical, cultural and aesthetic differences that could affect such procedures.

The report, published in the March issue of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, was authored by two California-based plastic surgeons, Sejal M. Patel, M.D., Beverly Hills, and Rollin K. Daniel, M.D., Newport Beach.

“Indian American rhinoplasty patients present a challenging range of nasal deformities requiring careful surgery planning,” the authors wrote, noting that Indian Americans’ cultural emphasis on inner beauty is being augmented by a desire for outer beauty that has gained momentum “concurrent with the ‘Bollywood’ film industry” over the past 20 years.

According to an ASPS news release, Drs. Patel and Daniel analyzed their experience with 35 Indian American rhinoplasty patients to determine the nature of their complaints and their goals for improving their appearance. The surgeons found, for example, that the most common complaints were a “bump” seen on the nose in profile, overly large noses and drooping tips.

A key finding was that although the patients wanted to change their appearance, they also wanted to preserve their ethnic identity. The authors wrote that they carefully designed a surgical approach to meet their patients’ needs, including altering patients’ images via a computer program to provide “before” and “after” comparisons.

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

“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 concluded.

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