China reached second place in the overall volume of both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and total number of plastic surgeons in the country, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ (ISAPS) latest global survey.
China accounted for nearly 13% of all surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures worldwide or about $2.7 billion in sales in 2011. Like most other countries, middle-aged women are the largest consumer group for cosmetic procedures; however, unlike other countries, Chinese college students form the second largest group. Many of these young Chinese job seekers use cosmetic procedures to enhance job prospects in China’s competitive employment market. Up to 10% of plastic surgery is performed on men in China, a similar percentage to the US. For women, breast augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic procedure, with double-eyelid and nose augmentation surgeries following close behind.
In China, some hospitals have seen 50% growth in cosmetic procedures the last five years. Demand is so high that many pursue unlicensed procedures. Complaints of mishandled surgeries number in the tens of thousands. Despite these setbacks, plastic surgery in China is expected to grow by double-digit percentages as the middle class expands.