International Insights: Cosmetic Surgery and the Commonwealth of Nations

If you’ve been in practice for any length of time, the latest statistics on cosmetic surgery around the world probably won’t come as a surprise. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), the U.S. was, once again, No. 1, accounting for 20.1% of total global procedures in 2014, followed by Brazil (10.2%), Japan (6.2%) and South Korea (4.8%).

But interest in aesthetic medicine isn’t limited to the usual suspects; in fact, it’s growing by leaps and bounds in countries that never make the above list. And while tallying completed procedures clearly provides valuable insights, investigating what procedures potential patients are currently considering can provide complementary insights on where doctors should focus their marketing efforts in the future.

The RealSelf Trends blog did just that recently, analyzing pageviews for four countries — Australia, Canada, England and India — to determine who’s most interested in what procedures and how they compare to Americans. Here’s what they found:

Australia

Overall interest (YOY, Feb.-Apr.): +10%
Greatest interest: Breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck
More interested than U.S. counterparts: Breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, facelift
Less interested than U.S. counterparts: Tummy tuck, lipo, Brazilian butt lift

Canada

Overall interest (YOY, March-May): +21%
Greatest interest: Breast augmentation, tummy tuck, rhinoplasty
More interested than U.S. counterparts: Breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, breast reduction
Less interested than U.S. counterparts: Tummy tuck, Brazilian butt lift, mommy makeover

England

Overall interest (YOY, Feb.-Apr.): +29%
Greatest interest: Breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, Brazilian butt lift
More interested than U.S. counterparts: Rhinoplasty, breast reduction, facelift
Less interested than U.S. counterparts: Brazilian butt lift

India

Overall interest (YOY, March-May): +30%
Greatest interest: Breast augmentation, skin lightening, scar removal
More interested than U.S. counterparts: Skin lightening, scar removal, hair transplant
Less interested than U.S. counterparts: Breast augmentation, tummy tuck, rhinoplasty

Those wishing to dig even deeper into the data — e.g., popular procedures by state or province — will find more insights here, here, here and here.

Doctor Takeaway

For better target marketing, monitor your data

When it comes to reaching aesthetic consumers, the Internet has done more to obliterate geographic boundaries and physical limitations than any technology in history. In some cases — breast augmentation, for example — global interest is fairly consistent, but in others, cultural and regional differences prove that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t appropriate. Analyzing your website traffic to see where visitors are coming from can reveal emerging trends and areas of interest and help you focus your efforts on providing content that addresses their needs and concerns whether they’re across town or on the other side of the world.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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