Background: Proper pre-operative facial analysis that includes a thorough evaluation of both the bony and soft tissue anatomy is paramount to success in performing aesthetic surgery of the face. Ethnic variations in soft tissue profile add an important variable to pre-operative facial analysis. The aim of our study was to determine the role of ethnic variations in soft tissue facial profiles through profile analysis of Iranian male and female patients.
Methods: Photographs of 100 Iranian males and 100 Iranian females (16 to 40 years old) were carried out. A review committee selected 10 male images and 10 female images, which they believed to be most ideal. The soft tissue profiles were then analyzed. A total of 21 measurements were analyzed and statistically compared with North American Caucasian males and females.
Results: The upper lip projection and lower lip projection were significantly more prominent in Iranian males as compared with North American Caucasian males. In addition, Iranian males had longer face as compared with North American Caucasian males along with a more drooping nasal tip. The frontonasal area is straighter and the lower face is longer in Iranian females compared with North American Caucasian in addition to more convex faces along with a shorter upper face.
Conclusion: Significant differences in ideal soft tissue profiles exist between Iranian and Caucasian males. These differences should be recognized as they may play an important role in performing facial aesthetic and reconstructive procedures, particularly rhinoplasty, genioplasty, midface/facelifts, lip augmentation, and maxillofacial surgery.
Keywords: Aesthetic surgery; Caucasian; Facial profile; Soft tissue.