Feb 16, 2017

Cosmetic Procedures Around the World

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It comes as no surprise that most of us want to look good, young and healthy – 9.6 million cosmetic surgical procedures and 12.1 million non-surgical procedures were performed worldwide in 2015 according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. While the United States remains the unsurpassed victor in the number of cosmetic procedures, with 18.6 percent of the world’s total, other countries are quickly catching up on the vanity track. So, who are the other players in the aesthetic field and what are their cosmetic specialties?



Anything butt-related sells in the country of beaches, samba and the Carnival. Butt implants, butt fat transfers or butt lifts, in plastic surgery Brazil gets the silver medal right after the United States, with 10.7 percent of total cosmetic procedures in the world in 2015. Not exactly a shocker in the birth place of the ‘Brazilian butt lift’, also known as BBL, a surgical procedure that uses your own fat to enhance the size and shape of the buttocks. The procedure was pioneered by the Rio de Janeiro based plastic surgeon Dr. Ivo Pitanguy decades ago, and it has since spread all around the world. Buttock procedures are the ultimate winner in Brazil, with the staggering 26.3 percent of the world’s total butt implant procedures performed in 2015. But make no mistake – on top of the butt obsession, other plastic surgical procedures are popular as well: liposuction, breast augmentation, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery or nose job – it seems that anything goes in Brazil.


South Korea

In 2015, The New Yorker called Seoul ‘the world’s plastic surgery capital’. Surprisingly, #3 in total cosmetic procedures around the world, after USA and Brazil, is South Korea. With the population of only about 50 million people, the country might have the highest rate of plastic surgery per capita in the entire world. Some say that in South Korean culture other people’s evaluations matter more than what you think about yourself. It has been estimated that between one-fifth and one-third of women in Seoul have undergone at least one plastic surgery, and young age is no obstacle. So, what is the #1 cosmetic procedure in The Land of the Morning Calm? Double eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty. Unlike many Westerners, most Koreans have ‘monolid’ eyes, which means that there isn’t an eyelid crease, and some see the double lid as a sign of beauty. Other popular procedures include jawline restructuring (also called V-Line jaw reduction), nose job, forehead augmentation, chin augmentation, face lift or hair transplant (mainly for men).



India accounted for 4.3 percent of the world’s total number of cosmetic procedures in 2015. However, a significant portion of this could just be the growing medical tourism. By some estimates, India is one of the top five global destinations for medical tourism in general, and cosmetic surgery is a big part of this. And what seems to be problem for Indians and their visitors? Unwanted fat. When it comes to liposuction, a surgical procedure that essentially uses a tube to suck fat out of your problem body areas, in 2015 India held an impressive 3rd place in the number of liposuctions performed worldwide, right after USA and Brazil. Unfortunately, India is also the place where you can get one of the most bizarre cosmetic surgeries – limb lengthening. Limb lengthening is a painful surgery that involves breaking the bones in the legs and pinning them to a frame so the gap can fill with new bone over time, resulting in longer limbs. The technique was formerly used in major trauma cases or to fix bone deformities in children, but its use in cosmetic medicine is now on the rise.



Good old Europe does not favor cosmetic procedures as much as the United States, Latin America or some of the Asian countries, but when it comes to the top procedures performed, the old continent has a lot in common with its ‘new continent’ sister, America. Yes, the winner is a boob job. The European countries that scored the highest on the 2015 ranks of cosmetic procedures performed were Germany, France and Italy, and just like in the Unites States, breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgical procedure. The total number of breast procedures in Germany itself was 101,611 which accounts for 3.6 percent of world-wide total and puts Germany on an impressive 4th place. Other popular procedures include liposuction and eyelid surgery.


What’s Trending

With the United States leading the way with about 150,000 procedures performed in 2015, the new trend in cosmetic medicine worldwide is vaginal rejuvenation. It seems that women are ready to treat those parts of their bodies that are not exactly ‘on display’ – female genitalia procedures, such as vaginal rejuvenation and labiaplasty, are on the rise across the globe.


Check out the full ISAPS’s 2015 rankings by Country, Number of Total Cosmetic Procedures, and % of World’s Total:

1.       USA – 4,042,610 procedures, 18.6%

2.       Brazil – 2,324,245 procedures, 10.7%

3.       South Korea – 1,156,234 procedures, 5.3%

4.       India – 935,487 procedures, 4.3%

5.       Mexico – 907,913 procedures, 4.2%

6.       Germany – 617,408 procedures, 2.8%

7.       Colombia – 548,635 procedures, 2.5%

8.       France – 488,718 procedures, 2.3%

9.       Italy – 418,760 procedures, 1.9%

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Aesthetic Industry
Brazilian Butt Lift liposuction plastic surgery breast augmentation double eyelid surgery cosmetic surgery facial hair transplant cosmetic medicine surgical procedure non-surgical procedure ISAPS face lift
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Eyelid Surgery
Breast Augmentation
Butt Augmentation
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