Vancouver a new hub for double eyelid surgery 0
Vancouver has long been world famous for its natural scenic beauty yet, increasingly, the city is also building a reputation for perhaps not-so-natural beauty.
With a large and growing Asian population, local plastic surgeons are becoming particularly skilled at double eyelid surgery - a procedure that opens the eye and creates an eyelid - and are drawing a growing number of clients from places where doctors are less experienced in the procedure.
"We do have a really large Asian population in Vancouver and that makes a huge difference in our practice," said facial plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Buonassisi at 8 West Cosmetic Surgery. "A lot of the things I'm doing are very specifically related to Asian facial features.
"I get people from all over the country," added Buonassisi, who offers virtual consultations to help out-of-town patients. "I had someone from Minnesota (who recently) came to see
me because in Minnesota there's just not that many people with an Asian background so the surgeons there either aren't able or don't have enough
experience doing these types of surgeries."
Buonassisi, who said at least half his clients are Asian, performs four-to-five eyelid surgeries a week but also specializes in nose augmentation.
The prospect that Vancouver could become a cosmetic surgery tourist destination disturbs Catherine Murray, an expert in women and cultural practices at SFU. But even more troubling to Murray is the idea people are striving toward one global standard of beauty.
"I think this is a sign that a growing global culture values only appearance and a kind of homogenized beauty that is obviously so important to these women they're prepared to undergo considerable personal expense and considerable pain and risk to reach that ideal," she said. "And that's something I find very sad."
One of Buonassisi's clients, a 23-year-old woman who asked her name be withheld, recently spent about $2,500 on her eyelid surgery.
"The reason I even decided to do this is because, as sad as this is, Vancouver is a very shallow and materialistic city so you've got to look good," she said. "It's because all the celebrities you see them all do it and everybody just wants to look like them. It's all the media, telling you, 'Oh this is beautiful.' "
But Dr. Andrew Denton, another Vancouver facial plastic surgeon, said patients want to remain "ethnically appropriate" and aren't looking to blend in with other races.
"They're not looking for that cookie-cutter Caucasian eyelid," Denton told 24 hours.
Dr. Richard Warren, chairman of the Canadian Board of Plastic Surgery said he saw much more aggressive and transforming eyelid surgeries when he travelled to Asia.
"Asian people here are quite comfortable with their ethnicity. They don't want to look like a different race."