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Analysis

High Growth Potential for Aesthetic Surgery

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 12:27

With the advancement of modern medicine, many are now going under the knife to satisfy their aesthetic desires. Mexico is no exception, carving out fifth place for total cosmetic procedures performed globally in 2015, according to the International Survey on Aesthetic/ Cosmetic Procedures Performed in 2015 (ISACP) by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Last year, 907,913 procedures were performed in Mexico, representing 4.2 percent of the worldwide total and split almost 50-50 between surgical and nonsurgical (461,544 and 446,369, respectively). It is no surprise that in a country ranked second worldwide in terms of adult obesity, two of the most popular surgical procedures were liposuction and abdominoplasty, and one of the most popular nonsurgical procedures was skin tightening. Despite the health industry’s efforts to cut obesity rates and promote healthier lifestyles, surgery is still a top option for achieving weight-loss goals.

More teenagers are also undergoing surgical procedures to change their looks before they reach 18 years of age. In 2015 in Mexico, 44.7 percent of breast augmentations performed on women 17 years or younger were for purely cosmetic reasons, a higher percentage than Colombia, the US and Brazil.

But it is not just the locals turning to surgery to fix their appearance, providing an opening for the industry. Mexico is a growing hub for medical tourism, second behind Thailand, but it lags in performing aesthetic procedures on foreigners. The ISACP shows that in 2015 on average only 17 percent of total aesthetic procedures were performed on medical tourists, compared to 12.2 percent worldwide and 24.7 percent in Colombia, which had the highest rate of the countries surveyed. Despite Mexico’s success with foreign patients, it still has room to grow in terms of attracting more foreigners to undergo non-elective aesthetic procedures.

There is also potential to grow for companies providing nonsurgical procedures. Mexico provides only 3.0 percent of the world’s hyaluronic acid treatments, 2.7 percent of hair removal procedures and a paltry 1.7 percent of chemical peels.

US patients are the main foreign clients of Mexican doctors, yet the US ranks number one in all of the most common nonsurgical procedures. Given its geographical proximity, many industry insiders see potential to grab more of the market. In Mexico, much of the medical tourism talk centers around dentistry and cancer treatments. There is room for aesthetic and cosmetic procedures to join the conversation.