Top 10 Countries Where Most Travelers Go to For Plastic Surgery

Below are top 10 countries where most travelers visit to get cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is a booming business all around the world. Here we discover the top destinations, look at the risks involved and compare costs.

In every continent, there’s a country where people travel to for some major cosmetic procedures. And we’re not talking about breast implants in Beverly Hills. For example, pop stars and celebrities in Korea are known to have the “perfect faces”, where both females and even males have had their eye lids done, added extra bridges to their noses, or shaved off their jaw bones to make their faces look smaller.

In recent decades, beauty standards seem to have crossed cultural and racial barriers. It seems that women of all nationalities want to attain big breasts, long legs, big eyes, full lips, high cheekbones and the perfect nose – ones that are neither pumpy, nor too flat.

Whether you’re for or against plastic surgeries, the truth is that millions of people travel to spend thousands of dollars on such drastic makeovers. Here are ten countries that have a global reputation for making anyone’s beauty dreams come true.


1. Brazil

plastic surgery brazil

As one of the most popular countries for plastic surgeries, Brazilian girls are used to receiving breast implants as sweet sixteen birthday presents. For travelers who head to Brazil to go under the knife, they are often treated like royalty. Brazilian clinics provide privacy and treatment without the glaring judgments of friends and family. Though travelers must be warned that deaths do happen and can be caused by surgeries, so please beware.

Apart from being a vibrant city to explore, Rio de Janeiro is said to be the world capital of cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is an integral part of Brazilian culture where it is regarded as a status symbol.

Brazil boasts some world leading surgeons – over 650 surgeons perform more than 300,000 treatments a year – some of whom practice from five star style clinics.

Pros: Brazil can offer American style clinics with operations performed by some of the world’s leading cosmetic surgeons at one third of the price charged elsewhere.

Some of the most inventive cosmetic treatments are offered in Brazil. Most popular include a low, bikini-line incision that tightens the abdomen, and thigh and buttock lift.

Cons: Although Brazil boasts some excellent surgeons, there are plenty of bad ones around making cosmetic surgery a minefield.

Professor Sharpe points out that buttock and thigh lifts can leave unsightly scars. He says: ‘This is not so noticeble on an olive complexion, yet on white skin it can look alarming.’

Cost: A thigh and buttock lift costs around $5,200 by Brazil’s top surgeon. A face-lift in the U.S. costs an average of $6,000 while in Brazil, it is only USD $1,900; eye treatments around $500; and tummy tucks from $3000.


2. Iran

plastic surgery iran

It isn’t uncommon to see women with white little strips on their noses in Iran. As covered up as females are required to be with their dress codes, Iranians are known for a desire to attain “doll faces.”

The medical programs in Iran are some of the best in the world, thus travelers in Middle East often head to Iran for a forehead lift, a tummy tuck or an easy breezy nose job. And the clientele also includes men who want to look thinner and younger.

Cost: A nose job is around USD $2,000 and a tummy tuck is approximately $1,200 – $2,800. A facelift is about $1,200 – $2,400, while a forehead lift can go up to USD $6,000.


3. Thailand

plastic surgery thailand

Best known for transgender plastic surgeries. Some popular procedures done in Thailand include: breast implants, Adam’s apple shaving, cheek implants…etc. Because of the lower costs, Thailand has grown to be a huge hub for travelers who want plastic surgeries without breaking the bank.

The capital of Thailand is Bangkok, which is very courteous and complete service-oriented city. The service of the plastic surgeons in the country is equally efficient and trustworthy as all other services in the country.

The country is included in the list because of the cheap price of cosmetic surgery in the country. The country faces competition from many other Asian countries but enjoys special attention of the western crowd because of the perfectly accurate services at perfectly reasonable prices. The confidentiality of the client is respected here more than anywhere else.

Cost: Adam’s apple shaving costs USD $800, nose reshaping goes for $2,000 while cheek implants run for $1,400.


4. South Korea

plastic surgery south korea

So common in Korea that plastic surgeries aren’t shocking anymore. The national show “Let’s Beauty” often features drastic makeovers that are completely unrecognizable. In the last decade, South Korea has become the center for going under the knife in Asia. And word on the street is, they do it well.

Asia beats America in this field of medicine. South Korea is the largest center for plastic surgery in the whole world. A research of 2009 showed that one out of every five women living in Seoul underwent some kind of plastic surgery; which means 20% of women of Seoul have experienced cosmetic surgery.

Most common surgeries witnessed is double eyelid surgery, medically known as Blepharoplasty. A survey of 2010 showed that there were more than 44,000 double eyelid surgeries done in the country. Another very common and most frequently performed, apart from the eyelid surgeries, are nose jobs and liposuction.

Cost: A nose job would be around USD $5,000 – $8,000. Jaw contouring is somewhere around $4,500 or more while jaw shaving runs for $8,900. Ab surgeries go for $4,000 or more, thigh surgeries are around $4,600 and arm surgeries go for $2,200. But of course, each clinic differs.


5. Switzerland

plastic surgery switzerland

Whether foreigners want to look younger or undergo reconstructive surgeries after accidents, they’ve been flocking to Switzerland for the expertise in aesthetic enhancement. The main attraction here for medical tourism is that the Swiss really focuses on art and discretion.

Swiss doctors treat plastic surgeries as art, so the results don’t appear as too obvious like having work done. Confidentiality is also part of the culture’s respect and careful attention to the needs of patients.

Cost: Face lifts run for USD $15,000 each, breast enlargements go for $13,000, a tummy tuck is also around $15,000, and a liposuction would be around $6,600.


6. Poland

plastic surgery poland

The rise of medical tourism in Poland has been due to: Poland’s access to the EU, an increasing number of budget airlines flying to Polish cities and the disparity in cost between cosmetic surgery prices in Poland and other less developed European countries. Hence, Europeans have also been flocking to Poland for a few fix-me-ups.

Cost: Breast enlargements go for USD $4,100, nose corrections run for $3,500, a tummy tuck would cost around $3,800 while a butt implant goes for $5,700.


7. China

plastic surgery china

Believe it or not, 2 million facial reconstructing surgeries are completed in China each year. This goes from higher cheekbones, narrower jawlines, bigger eyes to good old nose jobs. Surgeries in China now are performed in modern, well-equipped, licensed facilities, so prices now have risen to higher than those in Western countries.

Cost: A Double eyelid surgery would go for USD $1,500, jaw reshaping runs around $9,000 while jawline and cheek bone reshaping together costs $15,000. Beware: there are numerous underground beauty salons that perform surgeries illegally and offer a double eyelid surgery for $180.


8. Hawaii

plastic surgery hawaii

Eyelid surgeries are actually quite a big deal in Hawaii. Those who believe their eyes are too small, often want a cut on their lids to create an extra lid or to remove loose skin on the eyelid. Another cosmetic surgery that is extremely popular in Hawaii is eyeliner and eyebrow tattooing.

Cost: Mommy makeovers (include: a tummy tuck, breast augmentation and possibly a breast lift) costs $20,000 or more, and an eyeliner or an eyebrow tattooing costs $150 each.


9. South Africa

plastic surgery south africa

You wouldn’t think safaris and rhinoplasties go together, but many luxury medical spas in South African now provide cosmetic procedures followed by explorations through wildlife and glamorous wine tours. Dental work and cheek augmentations are also popular surgical operations done in this part of the world.

South Africa boasts some of the world’s finest hospitals and clinics with highly qualified doctors. An increasing number of foreigners are taking advantage of ‘scalpel safaris’ – all-in-one packages where clients can experience the African bush while recovering from surgery in luxury accommodation.

Pros: South Africa can offer high standards of care and excellent accommodation in exotic surroundings. This means tourists can combine surgery with a once in a lifetime holiday.

At the moment, the pound is strong against the South African Rand making a trip even cheaper. Unlike some other places, language and cultural approach to medical care is similar to Britain. There is the added advantage of explaining a youthful appearance is thanks to a rejuvenating holiday in the sun.

Cons: South African regulations prohibit doctors from advertising their services directly. But loopholes mean a third party – like a travel agent or advisor – can arrange the treatment between the surgeon and the prospective client.

Professor Sharpe says: ‘I’d be suspicious of any surgeon who needs to tout their service. This indicates surgeons who haven’t completed their training – or who lack experience – and work for cheap rates. A good surgeon will rely on personal recommendations and have no need to tout.’

South Africa is also a long way from home should you need to see the surgeon again.

Cost: Cost In Britain, a facelift costs around $9,000. In South Africa, it would be around $3,000, including flights, and a two-week stay in a top hotel.

Tummy tucks cost around $3,000 in South Africa, compared to $6,000 in Britain. Eye treatment – such as bag removal, lazer eye lift and brow lift – costs around $1,200. This compares with $2,000 to $4,000 in Britain.

For a breast augmentation procedure, it costs USD $3,600, while a liposuction is also around $4,500.


10. Russia

plastic surgery russia

Cosmetic surgery is booming business in Russia. Ten private clinics offering professional treatments have opened in the past ten years with more due to follow soon. The most chic clinic is The Pirogov in St Petersburg which boasts internationally recognised surgeons, luxurious recovery suites and fine food.

Pros: Russian cosmetic clinics can provide high standards of care and luxurious accommodation with the latest surgical equipment from Germany and America. Treatments can cost five times less than Britain.

Cons: Language and cultural differences could be a problem. There is no chance of meeting the surgeon or the anaesthetist before treatment and building up a rapport. If complications occur after arriving home, your surgeon is a long way away.

Cost: One week’s accommodation to the Pirogove clinic for an upper eyelid lift, costs $1,000. Liposuction starts at $390 and upper and lower lids are $300. A face-lift only costs around $800.

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top 10 countries where most travelers go to for plastic surgery