Toronto, Ontario, Canada — According to the most recent statistics from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), Asia currently boasts the highest number of cosmetic procedures performed with over 5.8 million total enhancements in 2010, almost 32% of all aesthetic procedures performed across the globe. With North America in second at just over 4.5 million procedures, Dr. Lawrence Tong, a plastic surgeon in Toronto, says he has observed a similar demand for cosmetic procedures at his practice, noting that an estimated one-quarter to one-third of his patients are of Asian descent.
In some Asian countries such as Korea and Japan, Dr. Tong says plastic surgery has been very popular for some time; however, he says Chinese patients are a newer trend. While Japan jumped up two spots since 2009 to the fourth most plastic surgery procedures performed per country, China sits just ahead with over 1.2 million cosmetic enhancements. Dr. Tong attributes much of the rising demand for Asian plastic surgery amongst the Chinese to cultural shifts, and China’s rising affluent consumer class. He says there is a greater emphasis on beauty in modern Chinese culture, and many Chinese are looking to enhance their appearance through following Western aesthetic trends. Ironically, the desire to pursue Western aesthetic trends has led to China’s cosmetic surgery industry to become a ‘Wild West’ of sorts. There is virtually no regulation of cosmetic surgery, resulting in clinics popping up everywhere, often with dubiously credentialed providers with deficient safety standards.
Dr. Tong says that, Chinese immigrants are seeking to have their procedure performed in Canada where reputable surgeons with recognized qualifications are easier to find. Because of the large Asian community in Toronto, Dr. Tong says he has been performing a growing number of plastic surgery procedures targeted towards the unique beauty and intricate complexities of Asian aesthetics. Dr. Tong believes that the combination of his American plastic surgery training, and a more regulated Canadian medical environment in terms of safety, operating room standards, and physician credentials, have brought more Chinese and other Asian patients to his Toronto plastic surgery practice as of late.
Amongst his patients of Asian descent, Dr. Tong sees the most demand for double fold blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). He says Asian eyelid surgery in Toronto is a sought-after surgical procedure that creates a crease (called the supratarsal fold) and helps to reduce excess skin in the upper eyelid, making the eye appear larger and more expressive. Dr. Tong says the procedure is sought-out by both men and women, and can create the more Westernized upper lid appearance that is preferred in Asian culture. While eyelid surgery is perhaps the most popular procedures, he says other common procedures for Asian patients include a range of surgical and nonsurgical procedures, such as breast augmentation and rhinoplasty (nose shaping), and non-invasive treatments such as soft tissue fillers, BOTOX® injections, and facial laser treatments.
One thing Dr. Tong stresses across the board for all patients is the importance of conducting proper research on potential surgeons/practices when considering plastic surgery. Because of the seriousness of aesthetic enhancements, he urges patients to consult with a board-certified (or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeon of Canada certified) plastic surgeon who is experienced in cosmetic surgery before undergoing any operation. This is especially true for patients considering niche procedures such as Asian cosmetic surgery. Dr. Tong says by choosing a reputable and qualified practice, patients can attain surgical results that meet their aesthetic goals.
About Lawrence Tong, MD, FACS, FRCSC
Dr. Lawrence Tong graduated from the University of Toronto Medical School. He completed ACGME accredited Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Dr. Tong is board-certified in Plastic Surgery by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dr. Tong is involved with training plastic surgery fellows and residents from the University of Toronto division of Plastic Surgery.
Located at 199 Avenue Road in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Tong’s practice, the Yorkville Institute of Plastic Surgery, can be reached at (416) 972-0999. He can also be contacted online via the website myplasticsurgerytoronto.com.
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