Desperately Seeking Beauty: The Market for Cosmetic Procedures

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The cosmetic surgery market is changing…and fast.  Just 20 years ago, cosmetic surgery was a specialty market. Today, cosmetic procedures have expanded beyond the surgical to now include neurotoxins (Botox), tissue fillers, fat injections, hair removal and cutting edge laser treatments. Patients, predominantly women are opting for nonsurgical solutions to achieve their beauty goals.  While facelifts, tummy tucks and breast implants still account for millions of procedures annually, some 82 percent of all cosmetic procedures in the US are now considered nonsurgical.

Why? The price of cosmetic surgery is prohibitive for many people, especially lower and middle class patients.  Many of these patients are choosing cosmetic surgery in exotic locales such as Costa Rica and Mexico, where pricing can often be 50 to 70 percent less than prices for the same surgery at home.  Patrick Goodness, CEO of Costa Rica Medical Guide, estimates that more than 10,000 Americans chose Costa Rica for cosmetic surgery in 2015. “Many patients, especially cash-strapped baby-boomers, want to look great, but just can’t afford the high price tags for these surgeries in the USA.  So they choose Costa Rica, Mexico or even Guatemala for affordable prices on treatments that are equal if not better in quality when compared to the same treatments at home.”

Global Tastes

According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, while most everyone wants to look their best, perceptions of beauty vary wildly across the globe. Brazilians prefer buttock enhancements, or butt implants, while Americans like bigger breasts and wrinkle-free faces. Americans are leading the way with facial surgery innovations, while the Middle East is making advances in nose surgery. Surgeons in Costa Rica are studying these global trends and are adapting their core competencies to meet the rising demand for surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic and plastic surgery.

The Goodness Company, with offices in the USA and Latin America is an international marketing agency with its finger on the pulse of the global healthcare market.