Semin Plast Surg 2009; 23(3): 159-162
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1224793
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Socioeconomic Impact of Ethnic Cosmetic Surgery: Trends and Potential Financial Impact the African American, Asian American, Latin American, and Middle Eastern Communities Have on Cosmetic Surgery

Sunishka Wimalawansa1 , Aisha McKnight1 , Jamal M. Bullocks1
  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
13 July 2009 (online)


The popularity of cosmetic surgery has increased around the world, and whereas in the past, the patient base consisted of mainly Caucasian individuals, interest in this field has grown among persons of varying ethnic backgrounds. Growing interest enables ethnic populations to contribute to the economic growth of the cosmetic surgery industry and impact the direction of the field in the future. Minority populations accounted for 22% of the cosmetic procedures performed in 2007, with the most common being liposuction, Botox® generic botulinum toxin type A (Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA), and chemical peels. Ultimately, changes in the population characteristics of the plastic surgery patient will alter the techniques of plastic surgeons that treat ethnic patients to cater to their physical differences. Factors such as increased cultural acceptance of plastic surgery, growing ethnic populations, and media emphasis on personal appearance have contributed to the increase in minorities seeking out cosmetic surgery. Escalating economic power within these populations has created an additional potentially lucrative market for interested plastic surgeons.


Aisha McKnight, M.D. 

Division of Plastic Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine

6701 Fannin, CC610.00, Houston, TX 77030