Though aesthetic surgery has grown in popularity worldwide, there is little information about the relative amount of wealth that national economies around the globe are expending on these services.
Methods/Technique: Using data published in ISAPS International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Procedures 2010, I analyzed the five highest volume worldwide markets and the five most commonly performed procedures in each. I then used the number of procedures and average surgeon's fee to estimate revenue spent on the top five procedures in each nation. Using data from the World Bank in 2010, I adjusted these figures for gross domestic product at purchasing power parity per capita (GDP per capita PPP), as a metric of the real value of personal income.
Results/Complications: The United States, Brazil, China, Japan, and India are the five global markets consuming the most aesthetic surgery procedures, spending an approximate total revenue of 3.6B, 3B, 860M, 790M, and 730M USD, respectively, on the surgeon's fees for the top five procedures. The GDP per capita PPP in these nations is estimated at 46,702, 11,202, 7,568, 33,946, and 3,373 USD, respectively. Given these figures, Brazil (gross revenue corrected for GDP per capita PPP of approximately 271K) and India (216K) are spending a significantly higher fraction of their wealth on aesthetic surgery than China (113K), the United States (77K), or Japan (23K).
Conclusion: Though the United States consistently tops the charts as the nation with the most aesthetic procedures performed and the most revenue generated from them, when accounting for relative national wealth, Brazil and India are the countries with the largest relative expenditures on aesthetic plastic surgery worldwide. As aesthetic surgery continues to grow and evolve, attention must be paid to these important emerging markets, their aesthetic ideals, and the procedures they most seek.