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The public demand to undergo elective surgeries to improve their physical appearance is a global phenomenon. It is not limited to countries of particular size or wealth or standing in the international community.

The desire to look ‘good’ is perhaps a unique equaliser across the world. However, there are most certainly countries that lead the pack, in terms of sheer volume, when it comes to performing cosmetic procedures.

In this article, we will unveil the countries with the largest number of cosmetic surgeries, what those surgeries are, and see how the UK compares on the global stage.

The Top Five Countries

Without further ado, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) survey of 2018, the top five countries that perform the most cosmetic surgeries and procedures are as follows:

Position Country Total procedures
1 USA 4,361,867
2 Brazil 2,267,405
3 Mexico 1,043,247
4 Germany 922,056
5 India 895,896

In total, the United States of America and Brazil accounted for 28.4% of all of the cosmetic procedures - surgical and non-surgical - in the world in 2018. However, while Brazil and the USA were fairly equal with the total number of cosmetic surgeries performed (just under 1.5 million procedures each), there were stark differences when it came to non-surgical treatments such as Botox, fillers and chemical peels.

In the USA more than three times the number of people underwent non-surgical procedures than in Brazil - 2.8 million cosmetic treatments were carried out compared to 769,000 in Brazil.

The annual survey from ISAPS found that non-invasive treatments increased by 10.4% across the world in 2018.

The 5 Most Popular Cosmetic Surgeries and Procedures in the USA

PositionSurgeryNumber of surgeriesProcedureNumber of procedures
1Breast augmentation321,362Botulinum Toxin1,463,409
2Liposuction286,388Hyaluronic Acid763,000
3Abdominoplasty148,801Non-surgical Fat Reduction150,764
4Breast Lift131,208Hair Removal145,507
5Eyelid Surgery119,784Photo Rejuvenation122,377

The Top 5 Most Popular Cosmetic Surgeries and Procedures in Brazil

PositionSurgeryNumber of surgeriesProcedureNumber of procedures
1Breast augmentation275,283Botulinum Toxin392,530
2Liposuction248,112Hyaluronic Acid252,971
3Abdominoplasty140,774Chemical Peel33,627
4Eyelid Surgery132,207Photo Rejuvenation28,321
5Breast Lift108,681Poly-L-Lactic Acid19,754

The Number of Surgeries Per Capita

While the top five countries performed a huge number of cosmetic surgeries, the order is a little different when the population sizes of the surveyed countries are taken into account.

In this instance, Brazil jumps up to first place with 715 procedures per 100,000 people, and the USA drops out of the top five down to seventh place.

Additionally, Argentina and Colombia take second and third place, up from seventh and eighth places respectively, demonstrating the popularity of cosmetic surgery across South America.

PositionCountryProcedures per 100,000 people
1Brazil715
2Argentina631
3Colombia550
4Italy515
5Germany466

The State of Play in the UK

So how does the UK compare on the global scene? A report from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) revealed that nearly 27,000 procedures took place in 2019, with breast augmentation the most popular surgery.

PositionProcedureTotal procedures
1Breast Augmentation6,900
2Breast Reduction4,254
3Abdominoplasty3,064
4Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)2,539
5Rhinoplasty2,432

In 2019, the size of the UK population was 66.65 million, which means that there were 40 cosmetic surgeries performed per 100,000 people.

When we compare this number to the likes of Brazil (715 per 100,000) or the USA (456 per 100,000), it is clear to see that cosmetic surgery the UK is far less common than its cosmetic surgery peers across the Atlantic.

Get in touch

Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors are the experts when it comes to winning compensation following a botched cosmetic surgery or treatment. If you need someone to talk to to discuss your claim, get in touch by using the enquiry form or calling us freephone on 0800 634 0285.

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