Liposuction Ranks As Top Plastic Surgery Procedure In America While More Americans Fly To Thailand For “sun, Sand And Surgery”

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has reported that the number one top surgical procedure in the United States for the year 2005 was liposuction. In that year alone, 455,489 liposuction treatments were done in America, 402,946 were women and the rest was men. The majority of the patients fall under the ages between 35 to 50 years old.

Second on the list was breast augmentation, totaling 364,610 cases in that year. The report revealed that 83.4 per cent of the patients used the saline device and 16.6 percent the silicone implant. The results of recent research demonstrate that women with saline implants are significantly more likely to express satisfaction with augmentation than women with silicone gel-filled implants.

There are no actual statistics on the numbers of transvestites since it involves some legal issues in many countries, but it has been reported that thousands of cases were done. Bangkok is known to be the premier place to go for sex change surgery. In fact, that is one of the top 10 procedures for which patients visit Thailand. A growing number of Americans are taking that path, traveling to countries like Thailand for cosmetic, orthopedic and heart surgeries and other medical and dental treatments that cost 20 to 80 percent less than at home.

For example, American surgeon’s fee for a full face-lift averaged 22 in 2004, not including hospital costs, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. At Bangkok, it costs only 3,500 USD for a Face lift surgery (cheek bone area lift, cheek area lift, chin lift and neck lift). This cost is included hospital expenses.

The growth is in accordance with Thailand’s aim to establish Thailand as the “Center of Excellent Health of Asia” and this plan focuses on medical services, healthcare services and Thai herbal products. In 2004, as many as 20 billion Baht was generated by foreign patients seeking treatment in Thailand.

Many people want to take “cosmetics surgery holidays” in destinations that offer both tourist attractions and state-of-the-art plastic surgery technologies. Although when including the air fares and accommodation, the price is not lower than treatments in their home country, medical tourists get more than a better look from this type of vacation – they get better, revitalized feelings from the destination’s refreshing atmosphere too. “My partner and I had originally planned to fly in and have the surgery done straight away. As luck would have it, we got to fly to Thailand 5 days earlier than planned and decided to spend them in Pattaya, holidaying. I would definitely recommend this. The time to relax is a bonus, not to mention the additional shopping time….” said Bangkok Plastic Surgery Clinic’s Australian patient Rebecca who underwent breast augmentation surgery in 2006.

The statistics for the year 2006 is yet to come, but it is expected that the rankings will not change much, but the number of procedures might change due a greater variety of options.

About the author: Dr. Pichet Rodchareon writes for Bangkok Plastic Surgery Clinic (, center of plastic and cosmetic surgery based in Bangkok, Thailand.


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