Plastic Surgery: Ethnic and global trends

Television host Julie Chen recently announced that she had eyelid surgery in 1995 to make her eyes appear bigger and rounder. AP Photo.

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The number of beauty-seekers turning to plastic surgery grows every day. And it’s happening around the globe and with almost every ethnic group.

Liposuction, breast enhancements and eyelid reshaping are the most popular surgeries worldwide, according to a 2010 study by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. The United States tops their list of countries performing the most procedures with more than one million a year. Brazil and China are close behind.

For more on how one specific ethnicity is looking at plastic surgery, watch ABC7 News at 11 p.m.

Ethnic Trends

So what kinds of surgeries are specific ethnic groups getting? That information is difficult to track.

But The New York Times researched the topic a few years ago after noticing a rise in plastic surgeons that were catering to specific ethnic groups and their cultural preferences of beauty.

They found many Egyptian patients getting face lifts. Italians were having their knees reshaped. And many Arab-Americans were seeking nose jobs.

Global Eyelid Surgeries

Internationally, there’s a little-known trend in the Asian community that recently came to light when T.V. personality Julie Chen came forward about her own plastic surgery.

She had a blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, which makes the eyes rounder. The procedure is extremely popular in South Korea. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) says more than 52,000 eyelid surgeries were performed in 2009 in Korea.

“I think it’s probably five times more,” said Dr. David Park in reference to the number of Koreans getting eyelid surgery. Dr. Park is Korea’s National Secretary of the ISAPS. “Blepharoplasty is the most common cosmetic surgery in Korea.”

In America, the number of Asian-Americans going under the knife was up 20 percent from 2011 to 2012. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons also notes that in 2012, the number of patients requesting eyelid surgery was up 4 percent.

An In-Depth look at "Asian Eyes"

ABC7's Kathy Park is taking a look at blepharoplasty and its popularity in the Asian American community. The costs, its cultural impact and the reasons why so many are getting the surgery, are all answered in this in-depth report.

"No one comes in and says Oh, I want to look more American, or I want to blend in better," said Dr. Suzanne Doud Galli, cosmetic surgeon.

Kathy Park's report on "Asian Eyes" airs Monday night on ABC7 News at 11 p.m.