Desperately Seeking Plastic Surgery: The 5 Hottest Countries for Plastic Surgery

  • Each year, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) ranks the hottest countries for plastic surgery based on the number of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed. Overall, there were more than 23 million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed worldwide in 2013.

    Wrinkle-relaxing injections of botulinum toxin (including BOTOX®, Dysport and Xeomin) were the most popular procedure across the globe.

    Here are the top five countries based on these numbers, along with a glimpse into of the types of cosmetic procedures that residents are clamoring for in these parts of the world.

  • 1. Brazil

    Brazil's hopes of bringing home the World Cup in 2014 may have been dashed, but they edged out the United States in cosmetic surgical procedures performed in 2013 for the first time.

    Brazil took the title largely due to the popularity of buttock augmentation (often called the Brazilian butt lift) and other body contouring procedures such as tummy tuck, liposuction and vaginal rejuvenation. (Many people cite the popularity of the Brazilian bikini wax for ushering in the popularity of labiaplasty and other "designer" vagina procedures.) Botox and soft tissue fillers topped the list of non-surgical procedures favored by Brazilians.

    "Brazil beat out USA because the economy in Brazil is better," says ISAPS President Carlos Oscar Uebel, MD, PhD, a plastic surgeon from Porto Alegre, Brazil. The more disposable income a person has, the more likely he/she may be to consider nips or tucks. "Secondly, we have 5,480 plastic surgeons in our country of 220 million inhabitants and relatively, that is more than in the USA," he says. Medical tourism is also helping to boost Brazil's numbers, he adds.

  • 2. USA


    Image by George Hodan,

    The United States trailed Brazil for cosmetic surgery in 2013, but when non-invasive aesthetic procedures were counted, the US took home the prize. A reported 3,996,631 surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed stateside, comprising 17 percent of the total pie. Breast augmentation, liposuction, Botox and soft tissue fillers were the most popular cosmetic procedures in the US in 2013, ISAPS reports.

  • 3. Mexico


    By Jaimiko (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Filling the No. 3 slot was Mexico. The country comprised 3.8 percent of the total number of procedures perfumed worldwide in 2013. Topping the list of surgeries in Mexico were breast procedures, liposuction, tummy tuck and nose reshaping. The top non-surgical procedures in Mexico were Botox, soft tissue fillers and chemical peels. Plastic surgery is becoming more popular in Mexico for several reasons, says José Juan Montes Bracchini, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in Mexico City and the President of the International Federation of Facial Plastic Surgery Societies. For one, "the number of men asking for surgery is increasing," he says." More often they are worried about having a youthful image because of competition at work."

    In addition, women are growing more self-conscious because of the way the media portrays beauty and cosmetic surgery. Plus, the number of surgeons is increasing, which makes procedures cheaper and more accessible. "The numbers in Mexico will keep going up in the next years for both surgical and non-surgical procedures," predicts Dr. Bracchini.

  • 4. Germany


    By [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    Coming in fourth place in 2013 is Germany with 654,115 cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures performed, comprising 2.8 percent of the worldwide total. Germans favor breast augmentation, liposuction, eyelid and nose surgery when it comes to the surgical options, and Botox, fillers and chemical peels when just looking for a little non-surgical touch-up.

  • 5. Spain


    By Soerfm (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    Comprising just shy of 2 percent of the total, Spain was the fifth most popular country for plastic surgery in 2013. And while some of the same procedures that are in demand across the globe also rank high among Spaniards, thread lifts make their top five list of surgeries. Thread lifts fell from favor in the US several years back as a standalone surgery. During a thread lift, barbed sutures (threads) lift sagging eyebrows and eyelids, the furrows between your nose, the corners of your mouth, and the neck. Botox and fillers topped the list of popular non-surgical procedures in Spain as well.


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