World in Brief: Nip-and-tuck shops

Cosmetic surgery tourism is estimated to be worth up to $35 billion a year with 7 million patients travelling for procedures. Here are some facts about the industry:

The World Today
1 minute READ
  1. The US leads the world in cosmetic surgery, with 3.11 million procedures in 2011, followed by Brazil (1.45 million), China (1.05 million), Mexico (0.79 million) and Italy (0.79 million).
  2. Liposuction (fat removal by suction) is the most common, making up 19.9 per cent of all global procedures. Second is breast augmentation at 18.9 per cent, followed by blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) at 11 per cent.
  3. Asia is the continent with the highest number of cosmetic surgeons (8,379), followed by North America with 8,022, Europe with 7,440 and South America with 7,186.
  4. South Korea’s income from medical tourism rose to $116 million in 2011, double that of 2006, according to government statistics. Some 650,000 procedures were performed there in that year.
  5. Iran is the world’s leading consumer of rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), with an estimated 200,000 a year. Its nearest competitor is China with 51,680. While there are only 157 licensed cosmetic surgeons in Tehran, about 7,000 people are understood to be doing such work there.