Driven by increases in non-invasive procedures, plastic surgery across the globe is on the rise, according to the annual statistics from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), and the US and Brazil remain the cosmetic surgery capitals of the world.

The top two countries (USA and Brazil) accounted for 28.4 percent of total aesthetic procedures performed worldwide in 2018, followed by the remaining eight countries (Mexico, Germany, India, Italy, Argentina, Colombia, Australia, and Thailand). Brazil has climbed to first place in the world for aesthetic surgery procedures, while USA leads the world in non-surgical procedures. 

There was an overall increase of 5.4 percent in cosmetic procedures in 2018, with non-invasive treatments, such as fillers, driving this bump. Non-invasive treatments increased by 10.4 percent, significantly more than aesthetic operations, which showed a slight decrease of 0.6 percent.

Breast Augmentation with implants is the top cosmetic surgery with a growth in size of 6.1 percent compared to last year and 27.6 percent compared to 2014, ISAPS reports.

The largest increase in surgical procedures was in liposuction and abdominoplasty, both with an increase of more than 9 percent compared to last year. Botulinum Toxin treatment grew the most from 2017 with an increase of 17.4 percent, followed by Hyaluronic Acid filler treatments at 11.6 percent.

The Gender Difference

Women continue to undergo more cosmetic procedures than men, accounting for 87.4 percent, or 20,330,465 procedures. Men accounted for 12.6 percent of all procedures in 2018, or 2,935,909 procedures.

The most popular surgical and nonsurgical procedures for women are Breast Augmentation at 1,841,098 procedures and Botulinum Toxin at 5,344,764 procedures, respectively. The most popular surgical and nonsurgical procedures for men are Gynecomastia at 269,720 procedures and Botulinum Toxin at 752,752 procedures, respectively.

"It is exciting to see how fast the market is changing in the world. More and more treatments are performed with minimal invasiveness, as the figures show," says Dr. Dirk Richter, President of ISAPS, in a news release.

However, he expressly warns against a filler treatment by non-doctors or untrained doctors due to the observed increasing complications worldwide. 

"Although breast implants are a recurring topic in the media, this is an area with the greatest growth in the world and patients recognize the many benefits. We are seeing record numbers again this year proving that patients are taking advantage of the latest innovations in aesthetic surgery to look and feel better," Richter notes.

Survey Methodology

Data for the Global Survey was tabulated with a questionnaire sent to approximately 35,000 plastic surgeons in ISAPS' proprietary database. The questionnaire primarily focused on the number of specific surgical and nonsurgical procedures performed in 2018, along with some ancillary questions related to medical tourism. The results were compiled, tabulated, and analyzed by Industry Insights, an independent research firm based in Columbus, OH.