Nose Job Nation
Despite being a country where the morality police can confiscate cosmetics like eye liners and lipgloss, Iran has the highest rate of nose surgery in the world. According to a new report in the the conservative Etemad newspaper, as many as 200,000 Iranians, mostly women, go to cosmetic surgeons each year to reduce the size of their nose and make the tip point upwards. We asked Toronto facial plastic surgeon Jamil Asaria to comment. Here’s what he had to say.
Seeing men and women walking around Tehran with a cast on their nose is an increasingly familiar sight. In Iran, a nose job is as common as koobideh; it has definitely earned its title as the rhinoplasty capital of the world. In fact, having had two, three, or four rhinoplasties has become a sign of status and affluence.
Why are nose jobs so popular in Iran? In a culture where women’s bodies are mostly covered up, I think there is an even greater emphasis placed on facial beauty. And there really is no other procedure that can refine and balance a face like rhinoplasty.
While there is certainly a lot of hacking away at humps and tweaking of tips going on in Iran, the surgeons that are performing the surgeries are a lot more loosely regulated than they are here in Canada. Unfortunately, seeing patients who need revision rhinoplasty to fix deformities and breathing problems after a botched surgery is becoming more and more common in my practice.
In Toronto, patients of Persian background are no different than their counterparts in Iran. There is no question that Iranians (both men and women) comprise the largest percentage of patients undergoing rhinoplasty at FACE Toronto. I find that my Middle Eastern patients tend to have an incredible sense of beauty and they really take pride in their appearance. Rather than an overdone, operated look that is more common in Iran, Canadian Persians tend to request a more natural and balanced appearance to their nose. At the same time, they desire a nose that will maintain and complement their ethnic features rather than give them a typical westernized, Caucasian nose. Most Persians have thicker skin, a more bulbous and poorly supported tip, and an overall larger nose than the average rhinoplasty patient and this necessitates a rhinoplasty surgeon who is particularly experienced in Persian rhinoplasty.
Because I have some Persian heritage and I specialize in ethnic rhinoplasty, men and women of Persian background seek me out for surgery from all over Canada and I have had several Iranian plastic surgeons visit my operating room to learn the latest techniques. I am encouraged to see that patients are much better educated and are doing a lot more research these days when picking their surgeon. Instead of finding the closest clinic or best bargain, they are looking for a doctor that specializes in the exact type of surgery they are looking for.
It is incredibly rewarding to see how a few subtle changes can erase insecurity and transform a face. Whether it is in Tehran or Toronto, there is nothing more magical for a rhinoplasty surgeon than taking that cast off and seeing a patient’s first reaction to their new nose!
Jamil Asaria MD FRCSC is a Facial Plastic Surgeon and director at FACE Cosmetic Surgery. Asaria also lectures at the Division of Facial Plastic Surgery at the University of Toronto.