We're all striving to look (and feel) our most beautiful, but what that looks like varies wildly depending on where you live. In some countries, a modest behind is a prize. In beach-centric areas it's an issue to "fix." Certain cultures focus more on the face, others on the body. And certain populations — including America's — find the money to spend on elective surgical procedures even when the economy is dire. There were 13.1 million cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. in 2010, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons — that's an increase of 5% from the previous year. Breast augmentation topped the list here, but what about the rest of the world? We consulted with Dr. Jay Calvert, a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles. Calvert and his global network of colleagues constantly compare and contrast the different demands of their patients. The result is an extremely subjective— but, in our opinion, entirely fascinating — review of what patients are having done in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Pacific.
Trends in the U.S.
, according to Dr. Jay Calvert
Most popular procedure: Breast implants. People are not turning to liposuction as much. They're doing more diet and exercise, and understanding that lipo is really for contouring defects, not weight loss.
Latest craze: Stem cell fat-grafting -- harvesting stem-cell-rich fat from one area of the body and injecting it back into another to add volume, refresh the skin, and fill out wrinkles.
What's gaining momentum: Rhinoplasty. A specific rhinoplasty procedure, using a patient's own diced cartilage and fascia to shape the nose instead of a silicone implant, is gaining traction. Full disclosure: That procedure was something Dr. Calvert developed along with Dr. Rollin Daniel, a colleague with a practice in Newport Beach.
Ideal body type: Medium-sized breasts and "the Kardashian butt." Facelifts have to look healthy and natural.
Trends in Singapore
, according to Dr. Chin-Ho Wong
Most popular procedure: For ladies it would be periorbital work. Either double eyelid surgery (a procedure to create a crease in the upper eyelid) or eye lifts, then breast augmentation. For men, it's liposuction.
Latest craze: Fat grafting as part of conventional periorbital rejuvenation or facelifts. Fat grafting alone is also popular for the breasts.
What's gaining momentum? The autologous approach to Asian rhinoplasty where a piece of rib cartilage is used for sculpting. In the past, almost all aesthetic rhinoplasty was done with a silastic (silicone) implant. The autologous approach is quickly gaining in popularity as results get better.
Ideal body type: Larger breasts are always in demand here. Large buttocks are culturally not a concern for Asian women.
Trends in Australia
, according to Dr. Chris Moss
Most popular procedure: Female patients are looking for breast augmentation and most male patients are looking for nose jobs.
Latest craze: Clients are intrigued by fat grafting as well as non-surgical options like fillers to add volume to the face.
What's gaining momentum? Upper or lower facelifts with short incision techniques. There are two types of people wanting these: those who have put off surgery for years by having facial fillers or people who like the improvements from fillers in their cheeks but now want more rejuvenation in the jowls and neck.
Ideal body type: The desired breast size is slowly increasing. As a general rule, there are larger breasts (350 to 400cc) in the north of the country (Queensland) where there's a strong beach culture, and smaller breasts (around 300cc) in the cooler south of the country (Melbourne). There's no demand for buttocks surgery, but breast augmentation, liposuction, and tummy tucks are all very popular.
Trends in Germany
, according to Dr. Milos Kovacevic
Most popular procedure: For women, breast surgery. For men, eyelid surgery.
Latest craze: Thermage— a skin-tightening treatment using radio frequency— referred to by some as "a facelift without a scalpel."
What's gaining momentum? Labia majora surgery to lift or contour the labia.
Ideal body type: Nothing too extreme. The natural, un-operated-on look is the goal. As Dr. Kovacevic says, noses "have to be natural looking." The ideal breast size is big but not large, and stomachs have to be flat.
Trends in Brazil
, according to Dr. Alan Landecker
Most popular procedure: Breast implants for women and rhinoplasty for men.
Latest craze: Breast augmentations using more natural-looking implants—ones with a slightly wider base and a more moderate projection.
What's gaining momentum? Male plastic surgery from nose jobs to lipo to eye lifts.
Ideal body type: It's not all about the behind anymore. According to Dr. Landecker, a round, muscular butt used to be the only focus. Now women are looking to enhance their breasts. Curvy, athletic bodies free of even a trace of cellulite are the goal.
Trends in Greece
, according to Dr. Thanasis Athanasiou
Most popular procedure: Breast augmentation and liposuction for women and nose jobs and liposuction for men.
Latest craze: The newest trend is fat transfer enriched with stem cells (after a special culture in the lab) also the use of large-volume hyaluronic acid for buttock augmentation.
What's gaining momentum? Butt augmentation.
The desired body type: The so-called "European aesthetic" with natural-sized breasts and behinds where nothing is exaggerated or overly "done."
Trends in France, according to Dr. Olivier Gerbault
Most popular procedure: For women it's breast augmentation, then liposuction, then rhinoplasty. For men it's liposuction, rhinoplasty, and then facial rejuvenation.
Latest craze: Lipo-filling as part of a breast augmentation. Fat is harvested from the abdomen or thighs and then injected into the breasts to add volume.
What's gaining momentum? Genitalia surgery.
Ideal body type: Larger breasts with a slim silhouette. Buttocks' shape isn't so essential. "Natural" is key. Whatever the procedure performed, the result mustn't look overdone or obvious.
Trends in Belgium
, according to Dr. Jo Vanoorbeek
Most popular procedure: Upper eyelift for men and breast augmentation for women.
Latest craze: Fat grafting.
What's gaining momentum? Fillers and Botox.
Ideal body type: Belgian people don't want to look operated on. No big breasts, especially breasts that sit high on the chest. On the face, some wrinkles are allowed. Belgian people don't want to admit they underwent plastic surgery. No big butts in Belgium.
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