Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in facial reshaping. I am a 27 year old Asian-American female who, through some weight gain and with late puberty, have developed to me what is a foreign look which has caused me great distress. My objective with plastic surgery is to look all-American. I want a natural look, I don’t want it to look like I got plastic surgery at all. I noticed that my eyes grew higher on my head and slightly closer together. I grew a slight bump on my nose and my cheekbones grew flatter and higher on my head. I have gained weight intentionally to fill out of my face because I felt I looked too hollow. The changes have been about a mm but it bothers me considerably. I feel like I am in someone else’s face and it has changed my life for the worse. I am attaching some photos of the way I look now as well as a couple of photos of the way I looked before when I was in college. I am also attaching photos of how generally how I want to look. The biggest objective is that I want to look American, because I am. I am thinking of having my eyes and cheekbones literally moved lower and wider to give it a feminine and youthful look. I have noticed that male to female surgeries don’t look believable if the distance is still too long between the eyes and mouth. Please let me know what procedures you recommend. I am thinking of cheek implants, nose job, and eyelid surgery too? I really need plastic surgery for the life I want to live.
A: I would to make a few general comments about your facial surgery objectives. First you are going to need to set some realistic objectives. There is no plastic surgery that is going to make you look ‘All-American’. You have Asian features, and while there may be some room for softening, you are always going to look Asian. Secondly, you have thick tissues and thick skin. Every American female face pictures that you have shown has much thinner skin and softer features due to a completely different facial bone structure.. While I realize those may be examples, I do not want you to think your facial features can ever be as refined as theirs…you simply have different tissue thickness which only allow for some moderate changes at best.
While there is some facial changes that can be done, those have to be understood in the context of what may be achievable. This issue up front is more more important than what procedures to do…for within lies the key element of whether any patient will be happy after their plastic surgery operation. Some facial reshaping changes can be made but they will not have a facial transformation effect. They will only improve upon the basic appearance of your face.
Dr. Barry Eppley