India, China Among Plastic Surgery Hot Spots

U.S. Leads the World in Cosmetic Procedures, but Countries With Emerging Economies Closing the Gap

By Denise Mann
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Laura J. Martin, MD

Aug. 9, 2010 -- A global snapshot of plastic surgery procedures suggests that cosmetic surgery is becoming popular in countries with emerging economies, such as India and China. The new statistics released today by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery tally the number of surgical and nonsurgical procedures performed in 25 countries. The new data represent 75% of all procedures performed in the world in 2009.

"It is no surprise to me that the United States has the largest number of aesthetic procedures, and same with Brazil," says ISAPS President Foad Nahai, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Atlanta. "But countries like China and India with emerging economies are generating a lot wealth and as that wealth is passed around, people are choosing to their spend discretionary income on aesthetic procedures."

According to the new statistics, 17.5% of all procedures were performed in the U.S, and 14.3% were performed in Brazil. China accounted for 12.7% of cosmetic surgery procedures, followed by India at 5.2%.

The Top 10 countries for plastic surgery are:

1. United States

2. Brazil

3. China

4. India

5. Mexico

6. Japan

7. South Korea

8. Germany

9. Turkey

10. Spain

Procedures Vary by Country

The types of procedures that people are opting for differs among countries. "It is not always liposuction and breast augmentation that are No. 1," he says. Silicone implants for nose reshaping and eyelid surgery are popular in countries such as Thailand and China, he says. Injectables are not as popular in other countries as they are in the U.S yet, he says.

The new numbers also provide information on how many cosmetic procedures are performed across the globe.

"For the first time ever, ISAPs has numbers to show what is going on globally," he tells WebMD. There are 30,816 plastic surgeons practicing across the globe, and they performed an estimated 8,536,379 surgical procedures and 8,758,187 nonsurgical procedures in 2009, according to the statistics.

Surgeons in all 25 countries included in the survey completed questionnaires on the number of surgical and nonsurgical procedures they performed in 2009. In some countries where there were not enough respondents, researchers made projections based on the responses received.


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SOURCES: ISAPS International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedures Performed in 2009.

Foad Nahai, MD, ISAPS president, board-certified plastic surgeon, Atlanta.

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