Millions of women and, increasingly, men have plastic surgery procedures across the world each year, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS), and the number is rapidly increasing. Some countries have become nip/tuck international meccas. In 2016, America led the world with 4.2 million procedures, but there are numerous hot spots across the globe that offer plastic surgery, often at far less cost. Brazil follows the U.S. in the number of procedures, most notably body-sculpting surgeries like tummy tucks and the Brazilian butt lift. Next come Japan, Italy and Mexico, where the cultures place a high value on beauty.
Even extremely conservative countries like Iran are embracing cosmetic surgery. ISAPS believes that 150,000 cosmetic surgeries are done in the country each year, many of the recipients tourists from countries like Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Lebanon, which until recently was considered the Middle Eastern capital for plastic surgeries, performs a high number of rhinoplasties (nose jobs) on both men and women, all in pursuit of the small, straight nose that seems to be a universal standard. The cost of a nose job in Lebanon is half the cost of the same procedure in North America or Europe.
In South Korea and Taiwan, which regularly treat tourists seeking highly skilled doctors and reasonable prices, nearly half of all the procedures are blepharoplasties, or the double-eyelid surgery that gives the Asian eye a more European look. Some critics decry the trend as placing an undue emphasis on Western standards of beauty, but the procedure has become so popular that girls often receive it as a gift for their 18th birthday.