While once the province of only the physically disabled and victims of disfiguring trauma, cosmetic surgery is now extremely common among people who simply don’t like the way they look. Plastic surgery has become a huge portion of the medical industry in many developed countries. A recent survey collected data on the worldwide incidence of plastic surgery, and has some surprising results.

About this Study

This study of cosmetic surgery practices looks at 25 countries and compares the incidence of specific procedures, as well as the incidence of cosmetic surgery in general, to those of other nations. The data for this survey was collected by The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, based on the voluntary reports of 20,000 plastic surgeons worldwide. While this survey was not as extensive as it could otherwise have been, and the voluntary nature of it may call its results into question, there’s a good chance that these numbers are indicative of general trends.

Who gets the Most Surgery?

While it may not be very shocking that the US is number 1 on the list of countries that get the most plastic surgery, the extent to which it leads may be surprising to some. When looking at a percentage of all medical procedures done in a country, 21.1 % of the US’s are cosmetic surgery. This number represents more than double that of the country holding the number 2 spot: Brazil, with 9.8%. However, the other countries in the North American continent rank much lower on the list. As a result, the breakdown by continent puts Asia in the top spot.

Most Common Surgeries

Many won’t be surprised that the most common procedures in the world are liposuction and breast augmentation. However, the procedure which ranked third is one many haven’t heard of: Blepharoplasty. This is a surgery which involves the eyelids. While it is often done to people with aging faces, the surgery is gaining population in Asia for to reduce or eliminate the epicanthal fold. This fold is most commonly viewed in people of Asian origin, and is responsible for the distinctive eye shape associated with this ethnicity. Some who have this trait get it removed.

Who isn’t getting Surgery?

People from Romania are the least likely to get plastic surgery, followed by people from the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The study doesn’t comment on what precisely causes people in these countries to be less likely to have cosmetic surgery done. In the case of Saudi Arabia, social conservatism is likely a factor. However in the other countries on the bottom of the list, it is uncertain what may be the cause. The rates in these countries are nearly negligible, with cosmetic surgery in these areas responsible for less than 1% of the total medical procedures in these countries.

With the data in this study so preliminary, it’s difficult to reach hard conclusions about the reasons behind these numbers without further study. However, with the size of the disparity between the US and the rest of the world, it may be worthwhile to look more closely at this study’s results and consider doing more surveys.

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Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

With special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor.

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Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry.

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Dr. Jacob Tower

Dr. Jacob Tower

A board-certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Jacob Tower brings a thoughtful approach and an artistic eye to New England’s premier plastic surgery practice, The Spiegel Center in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to being an in-demand surgeon, Dr. Tower is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, a sought-after lecturer, and an expert in facial plastic surgery.

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