Cosmetic Surgery Statistics Australia & Around the World

Cosmetic surgery is surgery that is undertaken by those who desire to reshape and change the appearance of their body. And despite worldwide acceptance of body positivity and the inclusivity of size, more and more people around the globe are turning to cosmetic surgery.

Figure 1: Cosmetic surgical procedures more or less stayed the same between 2017 and 2018 with only a 1 percent increase (via ASPS).

Inclusive of a wide range of procedures, such as anti-wrinkle injections, laser hair removal, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, liposuction and many more, cosmetic surgery and procedures are slowly becoming increasingly popular and normalised in our society.

This article will explore the impact of cosmetic surgery, nationwide and worldwide, the costs of this surgery, the growing popularity of certain procedures, access to cosmetic surgery, the risks and future for the industry of cosmetic surgery.

Global Cosmetic Surgery Statistics

Figure 2: USA , Brazil and China have the most number of plastic surgeons (via ASPS).

Figure 3: Breast augmentations, liposuctions, and eyelid surgeries account for nearly 45 percent of all cosmetic surgery (via ISAPS).

Factors including the cost, access, social expectations of society and popularity of cosmetic surgery are common aspects that contribute to differing cosmetic surgery statistics worldwide.

  • 72% of facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectables in patients under 30 in 2018. (Allure).
  • In 2018, the US had the highest number of plastic surgeons, followed by Brazil. (Statista).
  • Brazil is the country with the most surgical cosmetic procedures totalling up to 1,492,383. (ISAPS).
  • The most common non-surgical cosmetic procedure worldwide was anti-wrinkle injections, done over three million times worldwide every year. (Investopedia).
  • The most common surgical cosmetic procedure worldwide is breast augmentation. (ISAPS).
  • The US has the most cosmetic surgeons, totalling up to 7,009 surgeons. (ISAPS).

Figure 4: Most people have cosmetic procedures carried out at a hospital or an office facility across the world with the exception of Argentina (via ISAPS).

Figure 5: Brazil leads the world in total surgical procedures carried out in 2018 with approximately 7,000 more procedures than the United States (via ISAPS).

Cosmetic Surgery in Australia

Cosmetic surgery is popular worldwide, and Australia ranks in the top 10 countries spending the most money. In 2017, Australia hit the billion-dollar mark where they spent $1 billion on cosmetic surgery.

  • The total number of procedures in Australia in 2018 was 202,642. (ISAPS).
  • Australians are spending the most money on anti-wrinkle injections, followed closely by dermal fillers. (Whimn).
  • In excess of $350 million worth of wrinkle reduction procedures with botulinum toxin are consumed annually (Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery).
  • The top 5 cosmetic procedures carried out are anti-wrinkle injections, fillers, laser and IPL, breast augmentation and reduction, and liposuction (Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery).
  • Spending $1 billion on cosmetic surgery, Australia spends more than 40% than the US per capita. (Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery).
  • In 2017, Australians underwent 20,000 breast augmentations and 30,0000 liposuctions. (Your Life Choices).
  • The most popular procedures for Australians are non-surgical procedures, including anti-wrinkle treatments, microdermabrasion and laser hair removal. (CPCA).

Figure 6:Breast procedures continue to be the most sought after form of cosmetic surgery in Australia (via ACCS).

Figure 7: A Plastic Surgeon or cosmetic surgeon who is an ACCS Fellow are doctors who receive training in cosmetic surgery (via ACCS).

Most Popular Cosmetic Surgeries


Figure 8: Top surgical procedures in 2018 (via ISAPS).

There are certain cosmetic surgeries that more popular than others. With breast augmentation ranking number one for the most popular surgical cosmetic surgery, procedures such as liposuction, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and face lifts follow.

  • The most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures include: anti-wrinkle injections, fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion. (Healthline).
  • The most popular surgical cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation, liposuction, nose-reshaping, eyelid surgery and tummy tucks. (Healthline).
  • In 2018, there were 313,735 breast augmentation procedures, compared to the 300, 378 procedures in 2017. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
  • Dr Dennis Schimpf states that social media, selfies and technology is the driving factor for the increasing popularity of cosmetic surgery. (Healthline).
  • The most common surgical cosmetic surgeries for men include: gynecomastia, liposuction, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty and ear surgery. (ISAPS).

Figure 9: Total surgical cosmetic procedures data (via ISAPS) performed in the United States in 2018

Costs of Cosmetic Surgery In Australia

The costs of cosmetic surgery can be significant, where certain surgical procedures can cost up to $40,000 or more. Factors that go into these costs include surgeon’s fee, anaesthesiologist, recovery time and follow up appointments.

  • On average, a breast augmentation can cost between $AU 7000 to $AU 15,000. This will depend on the surgeon’s fee and your choice of implants. (Costhetics).
  • A single session of anti-wrinkle injections can cost up to $AU 300. (SBS).
  • A rhinoplasty can cost between $AU 8000 to $AU 20,000. (Costhetics).
  • Abdominoplasty is the procedure that is often used to remove excess fat or sagging skin and can cost between $AU 6000 and $AU 8000. (SBS).

Liposuction can cost around $AU 5000 for one area of the body. For four parts or more, of the body, that amount could be $AU 15,000 or more. (SBS).

Does Age Matter?

Due to technology and social media, cosmetic surgery has become more accessible for everybody. This means that younger markets are becoming increasingly interested in cosmetic surgery.

  • Some of the most common procedures for teens between the ages of 13-19 were nose reshaping, male breast reduction, ear surgery and laser hair removal. (Plastic Surgery Organisation).
  • More than 40% of surgeons in a recent American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery survey said that “looking better in selfies for social media” was an incentive for patients of all ages getting surgery. (MarketWatch).
  • In 2018, the 40-45-year-old age bracket made up the majority of cosmetic procedures, totalling up to 7.8 million total procedures. (Plastic Surgery Organisation).
  • The most common procedure for those 18 years old or younger is a rhinoplasty (ISAPS).

Figure 10: distribution of cosmetic surgeries performed on 13-19 year olds in 2018 in the United States (via ASPS).

Figure 11: distribution of cosmetic surgeries performed on 20-29 year olds in 2018 in the United States (via ASPS).

Figure 12: distribution of cosmetic surgeries performed on 30-39 year olds in 2018 in the United States (via ASPS).

Figure 13: distribution of cosmetic surgeries performed on 40-54 year olds in 2018 in the United States (via ASPS).


Figure 14: distribution of cosmetic surgeries performed on 55+ year olds in 2018 in the United States (via ASPS).

Figure 14: distribution of cosmetic surgeries performed on 55+ year olds in 2018 in the United States (via ASPS).

Risks of Cosmetic Surgery

As with any surgery, there is risk. However, there is an increased risk with cosmetic surgery due to its accessibility. Many people often undergo cosmetic surgery with non-accredited doctors or nurses due to geographical or costs limitations. This can lead to serious health consequences.

  • One common risk with a tummy tuck procedure is seroma. This can occur in 15 to 30% of patients. (Healthline).
  • Those with a history of cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes or obesity have a higher risk of developing complications when undergoing cosmetic surgery. (Mayo Clinic).
  • Infections occur in 1.1% to 2.5% of people who undergo breast augmentation. (Healthline).
  • Nearly 200 people suffered accidental blindness in Australia due to dodgy cosmetic procedures that were performed by poorly qualified practitioners. (News.com).
  • 15% of women who undergo breast augmentation experience irreversible changes in nipple sensation. (Healthline).

The Future of Cosmetic Surgery

As cosmetic surgery becomes increasingly popular, it is no surprise that the trend for 2020 and beyond sees an increase in cosmetic procedures, where the market value will continue to grow.

  • The global cosmetic surgery market is expected to reach $43.9 billion by 2025. (Daze Digital).
  • In the upcoming years, breast augmentation and tummy tucks are expected to be the two most popular cosmetic surgery procedures. (Plastic Surgery Organisation).
  • The number of cosmetic procedures is expected to grow to 3,847,929 by 2030. (NCBI).
  • More people are looking for a natural look (78%) rather than a sculpted look (15%). (Plastic Surgeon Organisation).
  • Greater demand for procedures such as liposuction over the next five years is predicted, due to the increasing obesity levels. (Ibis World).