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Top 10 countries for plastic surgery

The top ten countries for plastic surgery, according to statistics from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, show the United States in the lead with 3.1 million people having undergone cosmetic surgery in 2011 (more than any other country in the world), while China ranked third with just over 1 million people having undergone cosmetic surgery in 2011.

It’s no secret that the number of Asian people who are willing to travel within the region for reasonable and more trusted cosmetic surgery is growing dramatically. South Korea, Thailand and Singapore are among the top East Asian medical tourism destinations, while China has begun to follow in the footsteps of its neighbors.

The top ten countries for plastic surgery were:

10) Colombia. In 2011, more than 1 million people visited the country, and insiders say at least 3 percent come for plastic surgery. Travel agents and plastic surgeons in Colombia often promote two-week surgery vacation package that include operations such as liposuction, breast lifts and calve adjustments, while also including apartments with maid service (not as a base for sightseeing, but rather as a place for post-op recovery).

COLOMBIA-PLASTIC-SURGERY-TOURISM

A billboard announces cosmetic surgery discounts on the streets of Cali, Colombia.

9) France. The World Health Organisation has commented that France has the best and most effective healthcare system in the world. Some of the best cosmetic surgery techniques actually originated in France, where many top surgeons and practitioners still come from all over the world to be trained in France. The country’s reputation has suffered recently due to a recent scandal involving defective silicone gel breast implants manufactured by French company PIP (Poly Implant Prosthese), which although approved by the French government were found to be substandard with a relatively high chance of bursting.

A plastic surgeon displays a defective silicone gel breast implant manufactured by French company PIP.

A plastic surgeon displays a defective silicone gel breast implant manufactured by French company PIP (Poly Implant Prosthese).

8) India. One of the leading destinations for low cost cosmetic surgery, India has world class hospitals with far lower facility costs that translate to dramatically reduced cosmetic surgery costs. Many Indian medical tourism destinations furnish vacationers with a beach or other high-end resort package, and while airline tickets can be quite pricey, patients often enjoy 90% savings on plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures as compared with similar procedures in America. Of course, the growth of the Indian cosmetic surgery sector has been propelled by not just inbound patients, but a huge number of domestic patients as well.

Cheap rates are the main reason driving clients to India for cosmetic surgery.

Cheap rates are the main reason driving these clients to India for cosmetic surgery.

7) South Korea. Some 650,000 people had plastic surgery in South Korea in 2011, where statistics state that one in five women undergoes some such procedure. Such procedures are so prevalent in the country that most of the stigma regarding surgery has dropped away, and celebrities and beauty queens openly discuss treatment.

Cosmetic surgery advertisements are everywhere in South Korea, from street billboards to subway stations, magazines and popular Internet sites.

Cosmetic surgery advertisements are everywhere in South Korea, from street billboards to subway stations, magazines and popular Internet sites.

6) Italy. While other countries lead the pack in terms of the highest total numbers of procedures, Italy actually ranks third when these numbers are adjusted by population to show how commonplace these cosmetic procedures are (South Korea ranks first when population is taken into account). A large proportion of the cosmetic procedures performed in Italy were non-invasive, a category that includes botox injections, chemical peels, and laser hair removal.

Nearly half of the cosmetic procedures performed in Italy are non-invasive procedures, such as botox injections.

Nearly half of the cosmetic procedures performed in Italy are non-invasive procedures, such as botox injections.

5) Mexico. Another relatively low cost medical tourism destination, Mexico has seen a marked increase in its number of plastic surgery centers. The city of Tijuana is an extremely popular medical tourism destination because of its proximity to the United States, and many plastic surgery centers in Tijuana are located in or around resort areas. An additional perk of Mexican hospitals is that they often have plastic surgeons who are certified to do plastic procedures in the United States.

Mexico has become a medical tourism destination renowned for its modern cosmetic surgery clinics.

Mexico has become a medical tourism destination renowned for its modern cosmetic surgery clinics.

4) Japan. While in a bygone era Japanese considered augmentation of one’s appearance to be associated with extreme vanity, referring to those who underwent augmentation procedures as “Kewpie dolls” (women) or “cute” (men), modern Japanese have embraced plastic and cosmetic surgery, often to extremes including commonplace cosmetic surgery for children.

A Japanese woman gained fame by undergoing 30 plastic surgeries in order to look like a French doll.

A Japanese woman gained fame by undergoing 30 plastic surgeries in order to appear European.

3) China. Before 1980 cosmetic surgery was completely banned throughout all communist China, but in the modern era cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular. In contrast to trends in the west, typically the most popular cosmetic procedures in China are not breast enhancement, liposuction, or abdominoplasty, but rather double slit operations designed to create larger eyes. Other popular procedures trending in China include reducing eyes bags, sculpting noses and shaving the jawbones to make softer faces.

Chinese doctors help a young girl, Xiao Mei, to unfasten the bandages after she received breast augmentation surgery at a hospital in Dongguan city, South China's Guangdong province,

Chinese doctors help a young girl, Xiao Mei, to unfasten the bandages after she received breast augmentation surgery at a hospital in Dongguan city, South China’s Guangdong province,

2) Brazil. Plastic surgeons in Brazil are among the most skilled in the world, largely as a result of Brazilian society’s openness concerning body aesthetic — plastic surgery is often a way of life in Brazil. The country has also developed into a world capital of cosmetic and plastic surgery due to medical tourism patients from around the world (primarily from the United States and Europe), attracted by consistent outcomes and relatively low costs.

Brazilian doctors administer a high-tech treatment used first to tighten a patient's jowls and then to sculpt her tummy.

Brazilian doctors administer a high-tech treatment used first to tighten a patient’s jowls and then to sculpt her tummy.

1) United States of America. With over 3 million procedures performed, or 21.1% of the global total, the United States accounted for the most cosmetic enhancements for the second year in a row. This may be because the US has the largest body of licensed plastic surgeons.

Plastic surgeries in the United States have increased by nearly 500 percent (and most were purchased with credit).

Plastic surgeries in the United States have increased by nearly 500 percent (and most were purchased with credit).

4 Responses to “Top 10 countries for plastic surgery”

  1. Xiaoxiao
    March 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Wow, one in five Korea…? Fighting!!!

    • Ella
      August 1, 2017 at 8:03 am #

      the medical term is “Rapunzelian reaction formation” where a victim does everything available to be sure of escape from future foul cluchers.

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