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12 Asian Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2011

Winter, 2011

In keeping with the spirit of the season but lacking a marketing agenda, we've consulted our fortune cookies, tea leaves, and crystal balls to compile this list of predictions for Asian plastic surgery in both East and West for year 2011.

asian plastic surgery predictions

1. Due to its sheer size alone, China will easily leapfrog the United States and Brazil to become the country whose plastic surgeons perform the greatest number of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments per year.

2. South Korea will successfully defend its position as the country with the world's highest per capita rate of plastic surgery.


3. The rate of cosmetic medical tourism within Asia will continue its meteoric bubble-like growth as young and middle-aged patients travel from less developed to more developed Asian countries. Most Americans, however, will stay put, most likely until just before the bubble pops (which won't be in 2011 unless prediction #12 gets out of hand).

4. Threatened by this still small exodus of cash-paying patients, Western plastic surgeons will up the number and urgency of their public warnings about the dangers of obtaining treatment abroad.

5. The young Asian female in both East and West will remain the world's most vulnerable plastic surgery target due to her age-related naiveté, willingness to be influenced by celebrity-driven social advertising, uncritical embrace of fads and scams, view of plastic surgeons as a uniform commodity, and strong emphasis on capturing the lowest price possible above all else.

6. Tapping into what is perceived as a neglected domestic market, a crop of newly-minted plastic surgeons in the United States purporting to be experts at Asian cosmetic surgery will add to the already sizable increase in self-proclaimed "specialists" who have materialized in recent years.

7. The cost of plastic surgery will rise modestly in the East while trending lower in the West, the result of supply and demand but also of advancing Asian economic parity.

8. Stimulated by the recession's effect on disposable income and the consumer's newfound reluctance to spend, marketing of less expensive but unproven or ineffective minimally-invasive treatments now strongly hyped in the West will gain traction in the East as well.

9. A backlash against undergoing surgical Westernization, while still a minor force, will take firmer hold in East Asia as the region continues to make strong gains in economic might, world status, and global cultural influence.

10. While seemingly inexplicable (but, of course, clearly related to item 9 just above), the number of American women of European descent asking their plastic surgeons to make them look "more Asian" will increase.

11. An avalanche of breakthrough press releases on new miracle stem cell rejuvenation therapies will… um, let's not even go there.

12. Continuing threats of hostilities between the two Koreas will place a serious but temporary damper on some of the above.

We'll be revisiting all of these topics over the course of the year. Here's to your health and good fortune in 2011.

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Asian plastic surgery predictions for 2011