The popularity of cosmetic procedures in India is skyrocketing—in fact, experts say that the market is growing by as much as 20 to 30 percent each year. This is partly to do with the fact more Indians are seeking out plastic surgery: there, as here in the United States, the culture has become more accepting of plastic surgery, especially since more high-profile figures (like actress Sushmita Sen) have publicly admitted that they have had work done; and with the low cost of cosmetic surgery in India, the middle class is increasingly able to afford procedures that were once reserved for the very wealthy.
The domestic market for plastic surgery is nothing to scoff at in India, but the foreign market is what has really put the country on the map when it comes to plastic surgery—it currently sits somewhere between fourth and fifth place in the world’s top destinations for medical tourism.
While the precise number of people who come to India solely for plastic surgery is unclear (some say 10,000, some say 100,000), the market for cosmetic procedures there has now been estimated to be worth about $25 million—and it’s not done growing yet. With the British government’s recent decision to enforce value-added tax on cosmetic surgeries, the average price tag on procedures like breast augmentations, abdominoplasty, laser liposuction, and facelifts is expected to shoot up by about 20 percent in the UK. With this so-called “boob tax” driving up costs at home, more and more Brits will likely be heading to India for their plastic surgery needs in the months to come.
With these developments, the future of plastic surgery in India is looking bright. It may not be the first country that springs to mind when you think about plastic surgery right now—but if things keep going the way they are now, it probably will be in a few years.