Plastic surgery: Marginal occurrence or global trend? Introduction It is without a doubt that plastic surgery has seen an incredible increase in demand over the last few years. The increased availability and accessibility of plastic surgery has created favorable conditions for the development of more and more procedures to cater to different needs of special categories of patients. If we have a look worldwide, each country has its specifics when it comes to plastic surgery. For example, in Asia, there is an undeniable interest in undergoing procedures to get whiter skin and blepharoplasties to correct the appearance of the eyes. In Europe and the United States, the last few years have seen a considerable increase in demand for butt enhancement procedures. More and more people are interested in correcting imperfections of the body with the help of plastic surgery. Now, it is not only women who want to have these procedures, but also more and more men. In this article, we will discuss more about the plastic surgery market to determine whether it is a marginal occurrence or a global trend and also see how it is related to plastic surgery tourism. The plastic surgery market Plastic surgery is still a surgery more difficult to access due to the costs that are supposed to be supported by the patient in a vast majority of cases. However, the plastic surgery market is varied, and new procedures are developed or improved each year. Nowadays the trend is to have big breasts, contoured lips, a small nose, and an hourglass body shape with no excess adipose tissue. Depending on how much a person is influenced by modern beauty standards and access to financial resources, the patient can have different types of corrections that will be recommended by the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. The target group of plastic surgery patients has considerably increased in the last decade, even if these types of procedures still entail certain financial effort for most patients. We can say that the reception towards this type of surgery represents a sign of an increase in the level of education of people regarding plastic surgery. With just one condition to not go over the limit, plastic surgery can be of real help in improving the appearance of the body, whether this is necessary, desired or recommended. An experienced board-certified plastic surgeon will also emphasize on the need for patients to be well-informed and to be able to make decision-based on facts and not based on urban legends and myths associated with this field of surgery. Plastic surgery is a highly specialized field of medicine that targets both men and women. Each procedure should be based on necessity and justified from a morphological and anatomical point of view. The improvement achieved after the procedure should always outweigh the risks and potential complications that are possible to occur when undergoing any type of surgery. The procedures performed for aesthetic purposes require not only in-depth medical knowledge and surgical experience but also a particular understanding of the patient’s personality, desires and expectations, because we don’t have clear standards for what are considered satisfactory results. For example, when considering breast implants, a natural shape of the breasts and a moderate size can be considered a perfect outcome for some patients, while for others it can be a complete disaster. Unlike any other surgeon, the plastic surgeon needs to understand what the patient is looking for and, at the same time, to educate the patient to see the anatomy as a whole and not just bits and pieces. The plastic surgeon will also teach the patient to appreciate natural beauty and only to correct the features that can be successfully corrected with minimal risks. We can say that plastic surgery is a global trend and not just a marginal occurrence because it has repercussions in different areas of the patient’s life. Achieving satisfactory results after plastic surgery can lead to a feeling of joy that can trigger a boost of self-esteem. This can in turn radically change the life of the patient in some cases. Plastic surgery tourism If a patient was to have surgery on the heart to correct a condition that is putting his life in danger, there are very few (if any) cases in which he would choose to have this procedure outside of the United States. The reality is that in the United States we have state-of-the-art medical facilities, well-prepared and educated surgeons, and the best of the best in terms of what modern medicine can offer. There are hundreds and thousands of patients flying to the United States each year to benefit from these conditions and the experience and knowledge of board-certified plastic surgeons. People from Europe and all over the world come here to get their plastic surgery procedure performed because they trust that here the safety regulations will be in order and the surgeons are among the best in the world. It is true that there is a cost associated with undergoing plastic surgery and often it can be considerable. The price of the procedure is dependent on many factors such as hospital fee, anesthetist fee, the materials used, the plastic surgeon’s fee, and so on. However, most respectable plastic surgeons in the United States offer different payment options for patients. Financial institutions can offer loans for plastic surgery as well. However, it is important to mention that there are also patients from the United States that go abroad to have their appearance corrected or improved. Countries such as Thailand or Mexico are preferred by some patients who want to maximize the results and minimize the costs. But this is not a good idea as there are dangers associated with undergoing plastic surgery abroad. First, rarely does the patient know the certifications of the plastic surgeon who will perform the procedure, and the low cost behind the plastic surgery tourism package might be explained by the lack of experience of the surgeon. At the same time, the materials and implants used outside the United States might not have the same high-quality standards as the ones here. For example, when it comes to breast or butt implants, the costs can vary significantly depending on the generation of implants used and the manufacturer. Now we use the fifth generation of implants in the United States. If you go abroad, you might have a previous generation of implants associated with a higher risk of complications for a smaller price. But is it really worth it? Each year we see patients who had plastic surgery abroad coming in for revision surgery or experiencing complications associated with the low standards of the procedures performed. But the simple fact that nowadays you can choose which country to have plastic surgery in and have a diverse array of options means that plastic surgery is not a marginal occurrence but has a global spread. When considering going abroad to undergo plastic surgery, you also have to understand that there are other aspects to think about such as medical care in case a complication occurs. While the rate of developing a complication after plastic surgery has decreased considerably over the last decade, there is still a chance to be confronted with complications such as excessive bleeding, deep vein thrombosis, or infections after undergoing surgery. When the procedure is performed outside the country of residence, this often means an additional cost for the patient as he has no health insurance to count on. Conclusion Plastic surgery is no longer just accessible for the rich and famous. Nowadays plastic surgery is being performed on a daily basis all around the world. Plastic surgery is not a marginal occurrence happening in a few states, but a global trend with multiple implications and different standards depending from country to country. A proof that plastic surgery is of a global interest now is even the fact that we have plastic surgery tourism. This means that people from all over the world travel to the United States to get their appearance improved by board-certified, experienced plastic surgeons who work with high-quality materials and in state-of-the-art medical facilities. At the same time, there are citizens of the United States that go abroad to have procedures that are cheaper compared to the costs they would have to pay in the United States.