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Times of India
11 August 2010
Mumbai, India

Craze For Plastic Surgery Puts India In Top Five
The universal desire to look good seems to be firmly entrenched on the desi shores. According to a global survey released on Tuesday, India ranks among the top five nations for cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures.

The statistics, released by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, shows that cosmetic surgery is becoming popular in countries with emerging economies, such as India and China. ISAPS president Foad Nahai in Atlanta said, "Countries like China and India with emerging economies are generating a lot wealth and as that wealth is passed around, people are choosing to spend their income on aesthetic procedures.’’

City doctors largely agree with the assessment but point out that growth is not in absolute number but in percentages. Said plastic surgeon Dr S Keswani, "One cannot say that numbers in India have drastically gone up. It has only gone up relatively in comparison to the past.’’

There is certainly a big change in terms of preferences, say doctors. While rhinoplasty or a nose job was the favourite surgical procedure in India, it is no longer the case. In fact, like with the US, the most popular procedure is liposuction or surgical removal of fat tissues. Incidentally, liposuction has for the first time replaced breast augmentation as the number one plastic surgery procedure in the US. "In India, too, the demand for liposuction has increased, along with hair transplant and breast augmentation,’’ said Keswani.

The reasons are not difficult to find. "The techniques are easily available in metro towns. People are aware of them. Most importantly, people have more disposable income than before to spend on looking good,’’ said Keswani.

Non-surgical beauty procedures are rising rapidly, according to the survey. Said dermatologist Dr Satish Bhatia, "India is absolutely happening in terms of cosmetic procedures. In fact, a growing number of foreigners come to us for day procedures—be it cheek implants or shots of botulumin toxin.’’

A senior doctor said the market has not yet peaked in India. "There is a lot of fear attached to surgical procedures that have long recovery time and are seen as bing permanent,’’ he said. Keswani said, "The growth in non-surgical procedures has definitely increased more than the demand for surgical procedures, But as awareness grows, the surgical demand will also increase.’’

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