Global aesthetic surgery statistics: a closer look

J Plast Surg Hand Surg. 2017 Aug;51(4):270-274. doi: 10.1080/2000656X.2016.1248842. Epub 2016 Nov 15.


Introduction: Obtaining quality global statistics about surgical procedures remains an important yet challenging task. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) reports the total number of surgical and non-surgical procedures performed worldwide on a yearly basis. While providing valuable insight, ISAPS' statistics leave two important factors unaccounted for: (1) the underlying base population, and (2) the number of surgeons performing the procedures.

Methods: Statistics of the published ISAPS' 'International Survey on Aesthetic/Cosmetic Surgery' were analysed by country, taking into account the underlying national base population according to the official United Nations population estimates. Further, the number of surgeons per country was used to calculate the number of surgeries performed per surgeon.

Results: In 2014, based on ISAPS statistics, national surgical procedures ranked in the following order: 1st USA, 2nd Brazil, 3rd South Korea, 4th Mexico, 5th Japan, 6th Germany, 7th Colombia, and 8th France. When considering the size of the underlying national populations, the demand for surgical procedures per 100,000 people changes the overall ranking substantially. It was also found that the rate of surgical procedures per surgeon shows great variation between the responding countries.

Conclusion: While the US and Brazil are often quoted as the countries with the highest demand for plastic surgery, according to the presented analysis, other countries surpass these countries in surgical procedures per capita. While data acquisition and quality should be improved in the future, valuable insight regarding the demand for surgical procedures can be gained by taking specific demographic and geographic factors into consideration.

Keywords: ISAPS statistics; Plastic surgery; aesthetics; cosmetic surgery; geography; international statistics; regional distribution.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Korea
  • Male
  • Models, Statistical
  • Surgery, Plastic / standards
  • Surgery, Plastic / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States