Asian Plastic Surgery Update

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Surgeons warn that Asian rhinoplasty patients may be unrealistic

Writing in the Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America, two Los Angeles specialists note the while rhinoplasty can be a challenging operation due to anatomical factors common to the Asian nose (thick skin, tight surgical envelope, etc), the surgeon's "most arduous" goal is satisfying the patient.

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University of Southern California Drs. Nassif and K. Lee note three main goals: "pleasing the patient, achieving an aesthetically appealing result, and preserving a natural look" without compromising the functional health of the nose.

Exactly what constitutes "aesthetically appealing" or "a natural look" is, of course, open to subjective interpretation and therein lies the difficulty. The authors warn that "many patients have unrealistic goals and may desire an extremely narrow Western nose."

Citing the common practice of patients bringing in photos of models or celebrities with "over-resected and pinched" noses not suitable for their faces, the authors note that "the surgeon's most important task is to attempt to persuade the patient that this result is non-functional, esthetically unfit, and difficult to achieve."

Because physician-patient miscommunication can be a major source of postoperative discontent for both parties, it is crucial that the presurgical Asian rhinoplasty discussion emphasize realistic expectations and outcomes and include a thorough presentation of risks and potential complications.

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