Turkey is the world’s most popular country for “destination plastic surgery,” aka, plastic surgery tourism, according to a new report issued January 9, 2023 by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS).
Plastic surgeons in the country provided a total of 464,490 individual plastic surgery procedures, in addition to 485,875 non-surgical aesthetic procedures, the report says. Procedures range from botulinum toxin to breast augmentation.
Combined, plastic and cosmetic surgeons in Turkey administered 950,365 separate surgical and nonsurgical procedures.
The total volume of these procedures places Turkey as the 7th most popular country for plastic surgery in the world. While plastic surgeons in the United States performed 1.9 million separate plastic surgery procedures and accounted for 15.5% of the global total, surgeons in Turkey performed 464,000 separate plastic surgery procedures and accounted for 3.6% of the global total number of plastic surgery procedres performed in the world.
But, staggering as those numbers are, they aren’t actually what make Turkey the plastic surgery tourism capital of the world.
What makes Turkey the world’s plastic surgery tourism capital is who their patients numbers are made up of.
One in every 3 plastic surgery patients in Turkey are medical tourists.
In Turkey, 32% of all procedures are performed on patients who don’t live in the country, according to an annual report by the International Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
By comparison, within the United States for instance, only 11 percent of all patients are from outside of the country.
The top countries where Turkey’s plastic surgery tourists fly in from are Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain.
Top 5 Plastic Surgery Tourism Countries in the World
The five countries in the world where plastic surgery tourism is the most popular are:
- TURKEY — 1 out of every 3 people getting plastic surgery in Turkey are medical tourists that have flown or driven into the country for its reduced surgeon’s fees and generally affordable plastic surgery procedures. These plastic surgery tourists most often come from one of three countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain. The U.S.A., not listed in the report, is likely the fourth most popular country where Turkey’s plastic surgery tourists fly in from. (32.1%)
- COLOMBIA — Colombia is the second most popular plastic surgery tourism destination in the world, with 29.6 percent of its plastic surgery patients in the country not living there. They’ve traveled most frequently from the United States, Spain, and Chile. (29.6%)
- MEXICO — Mexico is the third most popular country in the world for plastic surgery tourism, according to an annual statistics report by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Just shy of 1 in every 3 patients undergoing plastic surgery in Mexico has driven or flown in from outside of the country. These plastic surgery tourists are most commonly from the United States, Canada, and Colombia. (29.4%)
- THAILAND — Twenty-three percent of Thailand’s plastic surgery patients are from outside of the country, with the three most popular countries they come from being Australis, China, and the United States. (23.2%)
- SPAIN — After Thailand in 4th place as the most popular place to travel to for plastic surgery is Spain in 5th place. Spain isn’t a major plastic surgery tourist hotspot—at least relative to the total number of native patients who undergo procedures. Only 13.8% of Spain’s plastic surgery procedures are performed on people who do not live in the country and who define themselves as “plastic surgery tourists.” (13.8%)
Worldwide, only 17.6 percent of plastic surgery patients leave their country and fly or drive to another in order to undergo a plastic surgery procedure.
Plastic surgery tourism is typically considered dangerous, mostly for the fact that patients flying in are usually completely unfamiliar with the safety and health protocols of the country they are visiting.
If you’re in another continent and something goes terribly wrong with your procedure, what would you do?
That’s a question worth asking.
But it’s also one that doesn’t stop everyone from traveling overseas for plastic surgery, and most of them are rather happy with their results.
Most of them.