Are we witnessing the end of the BBL era?


New photos of Khloe Kardashian flood social media looking THE BEST she has ever looked with a smaller derriere and very thinner, fitter bod.

TikTok is celebrating a possible cultural shift away from the Brazilian butt lift aesthetic. 

All eras eventually come to an end. But is it’s demise isn’t necessarily a good thing?


It’s hard to believe how much time has passed since Vogue dubiously ushered in “the Era of the Big Booty” in 2014 (and even more so since the peach emoji became shorthand for a desirably peachy bum in 2010). In the years gone by, the number of Brazilian butt lifts (BBLs) globally performed has grown by 77.6%, propelled in no small part by an army of uber-famous women with ever-growing, metamorphosing behinds made famous by none other than the above mentioned Kardashians. Anyone remember when unflattering photos of Kim’s butt were published earlier this year, they quickly went viral in 2017?

Photos of Kim Kardashian’s very famous backside made headlines all over the world after she was snapped during a candid moment on a girls’ holiday. Most people were stunned to see the asset (sorry) in all it’s natural glory — i.e. with cellulite — and it seemed to suggest that the smooth version we’ve seen in photos before now may have been digitally edited.


Or do you remember when she broke the internet when Kim K’s butt got her own magazine cover?


That celebrity effect has inevitably trickled down to our own social media feeds too. A casual scroll through Instagram will often present you with endless examples of the BBL influencer aesthetic; posts of women posing with a perfectly round bottom that takes centre-stage like an object in its own right, matched with an impossibly cinched waist and small breasts.

 Sponsored ads ( much like ours) for seemingly easily accessible BBL surgeries are common on both Instagram and TikTok, while #BBL on the latter platform has 3.9 billion views and is proliferated with videos selling faja body shapers (padded shapewear for women that gives the illusion of a small waist and larger behind).


But all eras eventually come to an end, and the BBLs retirement is being helped in no small part thanks to TikTokers celebrating that, women especially, no longer need to feel inadequate about their lack of voluptuous behinds, especially since a series of recent pictures of Kim and Khloe Kardashian have cropped up with what appears to be a dramatic reduction to their famous bums.


If not a removal of their implants, there is definitely a smaller implant and a buttock lift (esp for Kim) with the trend very similiar to what happened to breast implants trends and the breast implant era!


The “BBL Effect” is one of TikTok’s biggest trends this year with the hashtag having 202 million views. Started by @antonibumba, the trend pokes fun at the BBL-influencer aesthetic, portraying those who get the cosmetic surgery as having a ludicrously self-important, main character energy. There’s also been a decry of “BBL fashion” in the form of growing discontent over cut-out style garments that are practically impossible to pull off on a non-surgically enhanced body. But there’s also been a recognition of how out of hand the invasive trend has become.

Plastic surgery itself has roots partially in the racist and classist ideology of eugenics, a belief that the “genetic quality” of the human race can be improved by discouraging or stopping those deemed inferior from reproducing. Dr Renato Kehl, who founded the Eugenics Society of São Paulo in Brazil in 1918, approved plastic surgery to facilitate “the extinction of the black and the rainforest-dwelling races”.

Historically, beautification went hand in hand with prizing whiteness as the most desirable aesthetic. BBLs seemed to flip the script, with typically non-white phenotypes like big bums being celebrated. However, that celebration of curves was predominantly on the bodies of wealthy white women. As a result, the BBL has become an asset that generates racialised capital.

BBL surgery is also known for being a more dangerous procedure tat should only be performed by experperience Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons- NOT Cosmetic Surgeons. Assessments are supposed to be undertaken prior to surgery for risk factors like being overweight, blood clotting disorders or any cardiovascular issues. During the procedure, patients run the risk of fat, which has been removed from other areas of the body, being injected into one of the deep blood vessels connected to the heart or lungs, resulting in cardiopulmonary collapse, which can cause infection, strokes or even death.

Surgeon Samuel Lin told Harper’s Bazaar: “the mortality rate from BBL is estimated to be as high as 1 in 3,000; this is greater than any other cosmetic surgery”. Viral plastic surgeon Emily Long has highlighted some of the dangers on TikTok. In some states in the Australia and US, Cosmetic Surgeons ie GPs and doctors can practice as “Cosmetic Surgeon’s” and take a “weekend course” to be qualified to administer BBLs. Inevitably, the cheapest surgeons are also likely those less reputable, increasing the chances of medical complications or botched results for the less wealthy.


It is, of course, impossible to dissect the BBL narrative without doing a deep dive of the Kardashian-Jenners, who are often considered the figureheads of the trend. Speaking to MJ – the creator of @kardashian_kolloquium, a TikTok account that demystifies the Kardashians through an academic lens – they speculate why the BBL trendsetters might also be bringing big butts to a close. “We don’t know yet if it really is the end. We don’t have enough data yet,” she disclaims, but “they are ageing and will commodify themselves in different ways.” MJ acknowledges that even super-influencers remain vulnerable to patriarchal ideas of female expiration dates.

MJ further argues that “extreme plastic surgery is inherently a gesture of economic power” and for celebrities “their newly enlarged butts became the perfect display of excess”.


There’s also a paradox here. For many women, the idea the BBL era might be ending is cause for both celebration and anxiety. For those of us with curvier bodies, the rise of the BBL aesthetic initially came with a relief at not having to live up to the stick-thin body championed in the 2000s. A trend that for many created a dysmorphic view of teen girls bodies and a perpetual drive to lose weight that continued into adulthood.

While the BBL style was in itself still out of reach, it paved the way for a self-acceptance of natural curves, no doubt at the expense of other women then feeling more inadequate about their bodies. Ultimately, liberation from these trends requires a dismantling of the notion of body standards completely.

Whilst we don’t yet know whether the sun is finally setting on the BBL era, there is one thing we can be sure of: we are very far off from living in a world where race, class, and gender dynamics don’t heavily influence who can profit and who loses in the marketplace of beauty standards, and even further away from living in a world where female body types are not commodified at all.

Original story with some editorial changes was published in BEAUTY by  Banseka Kayembe on 23 December 2021


Eyebrow Transplants- Everything You need to Know About the Cosmetic Procedure

Wait, that’s a thing?

Well, yeah. They have the same mechanics as a hair transplant: Fine hairs from the back of the head are removed by either a small linear scar or through tiny little circles around the base of each individual hair follicle and then placed into small, very carefully designed sites in the eyebrow [area].

And the result? LIFE-CHANGING!

The big reason why we have waited is that it was expensive! *Insert medical tourism to Turkey* – and the savings are HUGE! Instead of around $8,000 it’s just over $2 395 at 2 locations in Turkey! Istanbul and Antayla including surgery and hotel stay for 3-4 days all inclusive!

The cost of an eyebrow transplant will vary widely based on a range of factors, including how much hair you want to transfer, but it typically runs between $3,000 and $8,000 in Australia and the US. While at NipTuck Holidays we can offer it at just $2,395!!!

For us personally, , having eyebrows is priceless and life-changing, but that’s a lot of money so lucky that NipTuck Holidays offer weekly payment plans that make it affordable!!!!  


What does it involve?

According to an article in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, eyebrow transplant surgery generally starts with a patient and their doctor agreeing on the size and density of eyebrows they’re hoping to achieve, with the doctor drawing a representation on the patient’s face using an eyebrow pencil. Then the doctor goes back in with a surgical marker to note the margins, midlines, and peak points of the eyebrows.

Next, hair follicles (little sacs from which hair sprouts) are harvested from the patient’s scalp using a special machine, and the hair on the follicles is trimmed down to 1 to 2 centimeters in length. A small amount of numbing agent is injected into the eyebrow area, along with tumescent, which is an anesthetic that also helps keep the area firm. Then the hair follicles are carefully inserted into the eyebrows, and any hair that still seems exceedingly long is trimmed to be eyebrow-length.

If all goes well, people will not only have thicker eyebrows after a transplant—the eyebrows will also grow on their own once they’ve healed. But some people might need touch-ups to add extra density or even the eyebrows out over time.

Celebrity Eyebrow Transplant

Chrissy Teigen  just underwent eyebrow transplant surgery to create a fuller, fluffier look — and of course she shared the “crazy” results with her social media followers.




What does it feel like?

To start with, the transplant is performed under a LA, which means you are awake awake for the whole 5 hour procedure. But you’re in a good state though let me tell you. You don’t feel a thing, watching Netflix, while they’re picking the follicles out of the piece of skin they took from my scalp near the nape of your neck, where the finest hair grows. They pulled some follicles, and you have have 400 on each brow. After they pull follicles, they’re sitting there, you’re ready!

Then, the doctor comes in and she starts basically putting holes in the brow area and then they place the follicle into that hole. Sounds a bit eekie but it’s not that bad, it’s a medical procedure and how hair transplants are performed without any pain or discomfort. It was not a bad process, honestly. 

Light bruising and swelling are common for up to five days after the procedure, and a doctor may prescribe painkillers, antibiotics, and/or steroids to help with the healing process. The eyebrows will then flake and peel for a while before they’re fully healed. The hair that was initially transplanted may fall out too—that’s a completely normal step, and most of the hair will grow back by around three months after surgery.

BUT. Here’s the thing, though: The hair’s in there, and you’re like, OH, MY GODDDDDD! I have my eyebrow hair! It has a bit of a scab and then falls out. You’re left with nothing again. Three months later, you see your actual results. For three months, you’re going, Did I just waste my money? My brows are This didn’t work. It feels almost devastating when you’re like, they’re still not, they’re still no eyebrows. But it really, because of where they put the follicle, it really does take time for the hair to become one, and then sprout out just like it does on your head. You just have to give them time, and then, all of a sudden, they grow, and they grow!

Do not fear, the hairs will slowly grow in naturally and give a natural result!


“Nip, Tuck, Not Giving a F***k!”

Instagram influencers Ashley Stobart and Laura Harris are taking the podcast world by storm after becoming the subject of unfounded internet rumours about their personal lives.

Two mums who have spent almost $120,00 Australian dollars between them on cosmetic surgery have hit out at internet trolls as they seek to combat misleading pictures of Instagram models.

Ashley Stobart, whose husband is millionaire haulage heir Ed Stobart, and Lauren Harris are taking the podcast world by storm with ‘Nip, Tuck, Not Giving a F***’, which sees them give frank accounts of life as 30-something mums who openly enjoy cosmetic surgery and facial treatments.

The first episode shot to the top of the download chart and the pair hope to use the platform to encourage women to be honest about cosmetic treatments they’ve had done instead of claiming to ‘naturally’ look a certain way in Instagram photos.

Ashley, 31, from Hale, Greater Manchester, said: “Being natural doesn’t make you any better than someone else, but being honest does.”

She added: “It’s so important to be honest about what you’ve had done, this isn’t how women come out of the womb, we have had stuff done, we’re not promoting it in any way, but if you are out there posting on instagram and showing off the assets you bought, I do think you should say ‘yeah I’ve had stuff done’.

“Whether you like it or not, cosmetic treatments are a part of everyday life now and it’s not going to go away.”

Both her and Laura, 31, from Rawtenstall, Lancashire, are open about how much they have spent on cosmetic procedures – Ashley detailing $7,000 worth of treatments including her first boob job at the age of 22, liposuction, a nose job and ‘bleph job’ on her eyelids, meanwhile Lauren has spent $47,000 on three different breast enhancement surgeries.

Lauren, 31, from Rawtenstall, said: “People can make their own decisions about cosmetic work, we are not trying to promote it in any way.

“We called the podcast Nip Tuck, Not Giving a F***, but it’s not just about cosmetic surgery – it’s about women, about mums being brave enough to be open and honest about their lives, challenge stereotypes and tell funny stories.

“To say nobody’s perfect despite how it can sometimes look on Instagram, and to be honest about ourselves.

“We want women to stop feeling bad about themselves – and what’s more damaging is when people look at certain Instagram photos thinking that women look like that naturally.”

The two women became friends while working at the same cosmetic surgery clinic in Manchester 10 years ago.

They became mums around the same time – Ashley to 2-year-old Saskia and Lauren to Thea, 3 – and both women returned to work after maternity leave to continue their careers in the cosmetic surgery industry.

Lauren and Ashley have shared experiences of being single working mums – although Ashley recently got married to her millionaire beau, Ed Stobart of the well-known haulage family.


The motivation to launch their podcast came as a way for the women to create positives from a negative situation that shocked them to the core.

They both regularly post about their lives on Instagram, with Ashley having 14.6k followers and Lauren 21.5k followers, but the friends were gobsmacked to discover they were the victims of ‘toxic gossip’ on the anti-influencer website Tattle Life.

People with anonymous profiles had created entire threads dissecting Ashley and Lauren’s private lives – while making completely unfounded and false claims about them.

To ‘reclaim’ the gossip the girls decided to launch a podcast where they’d be able to be totally open and honest about their lives and hit back at the anonymous bullies.

Former Altrincham Grammar School for Girls pupil Ashley said: “We’re not celebrities, we’re literally just normal people and yet jealous people have gone on to that site just to slander us.”

Lauren added: “People have been saying for ages we should do something like a podcast, and we felt like this was the only way to address the situation with Tattle Life – it’s not like we could go on Instagram and go through everything people had been saying.

“The podcast was a way for us to discuss motherhood, being a working mum, and all the stereotypes around that, like how mums should look a certain way. We feel we’ve got so much to say to a lot of women of our age group.”

Ashley does not share photos of her daughter on her social media pages, while Lauren decided she would share photos of daughter Thea with her friends and followers on Instagram.

Both decisions were criticised on the gossip site – with the trolls slamming Ashley for ‘never showing her kid’ on Instagram suggesting she is a bad mum and never with her child, while Lauren was criticised for going on holiday without her child.

Lauren says: “There are different things that frustrate us about it, not just that it’s mean, and a lot of it is totally untrue, but that it seems to be mostly women talking about other women.

Originally written by Diane Bourke and Published in The Mirror UK :


My experience with NipTuck Holidays

My experience with NipTuck Holidays began in 2013 when I travelled in a group tour for a breast lift and augmentation,  after being referred by a friend who had travelled the previous year. From the outset, Claire was so knowledgeable and made the process of booking everything so easy.

I had never been overseas so having surgery as well was a little nerve wracking, but my mind was at ease after having everything taken care of. Claire was available to answer any questions or concerns I had, which were few. The hospital and its facilities are world class and I had such a great experience the first time, I booked again in 2014, 1 year later for dental treatment.

Not only was I saving thousands of dollars each time, I was provided world class care and treatment by highly skilled doctors and nurses. Having been treated at many different hospitals in Brisbane, I can say that nothing compares to the facilities in Phuket. It’s now 9 years later, and I have decided to have revision surgery and more dental work. I’ve had absolutely no issues with my breasts, it’s merely a change in shape and size that I desire. I’ve unfortunately fractured the root of one of my teeth and also need fillings and crowns.

The cost in Australia is astronomical and I have chosen to have NipTuck Holidays plan this trip for me again. All I’ve had to do is provide images, travel availability and the rest has been organised for me. Claire is very down to earth and is a wealth of knowledge of the medical tourism industry as well as having long standing relationships with the hospital and their staff. I am leaving in 10 days and am so excited to be welcomed back to Phuket.

Building Turkey’s medical tourism brand

11th February 2022

Story initally published by MTJ TeamThe IMTJ team includes Editor in Chief, Keith Pollard; Managing Editor, Jenny Jenkins; and medical travel market writer and analyst, Ian Youngman. 

Newly launched Medical in Turkey has said that it is seeking to make Turkish medical tourism a global brand. Its plan is to initially target the UK, Netherlands and Italy. Australia too with Klinik Europe in Turkey partnering with Australian medical tourism company NipTuck Holidays and hosting exclusive cosmetic surgery Group Tours ex Sydney Australia to Antalya starting next month!

Medical in Turkey was developed in response to the needs of Turkish medical tourism. It is an IGEME project working with the aim of spreading a sustainable working model in Turkish medical tourism throughout Turkey. In cooperation with the country’s medical tourism stakeholders, it wants to make the destination a world brand for medical travel.

Medical in Turkey states that numbers of inbound medical travellers will increase but only if it can spread understanding of quality and reliable service throughout Turkey’s healthcare institutions.

Medical in Turkey has been designed with the aim of eliminating many problems of medical tourism such as communication, mobility, trust, service and collection. It has a lot going for it and continues to draw the numbers for medical tourists!

Story initally published by MTJ Team The IMTJ team includes Editor in Chief, Keith Pollard; Managing Editor, Jenny Jenkins; and medical travel market writer and analyst, Ian Youngman. 

What a week in travel! 😩 😡Damn you Omicron🤬

Well, where do I start? Today I sit defeated at my computer. A few months ago I had the gall to start planning and booking for clients their dream cosmetic surgery in 2022.  Cancun Mexico? Yes please! Turkey? Don’t mind if I do! My dream travel list grew as vaccinations rolled out. But then the Delta-Omicron tire fire was lit and a fire extinguisher was nowhere to be found. Now the question isn’t where to go in 2022, it’s whether you should go anywhere at all, aside from a meditation studio or a panic room.

With all of that in mind, I temporarily scrapped the list of dream destinations for 2022 (see you in 2023, South Korea) and instead reached out to experts to ask whether travel is a good idea in 2022 — at least the first half of 2022. They (mostly) said there was no need to panic or cancel plans that you’ve already made, but they had plenty to say about how to book a trip, and how to proceed with trips that are already booked.

The advice this week is that Australians wanting to travel to Europe may need to rethink their plans, with the country declared a “Covid danger zone” due to surging Omicron case numbers.

Extra restrictions will be placed on Australian travellers, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

The directive comes after the US Centre for Disease Control warned Americans to avoid travelling Down Under, declaring Australia “high risk”. Kinda ironic coming from the US!!!!!

While it doesn’t specifically say which European countries and it states very generally that European countries have been advised to block visitors from Australia entirely, or impose tougher restrictions, including quarantine and testing requirements.

This first time since the pandemic began, Australia is on the receiving end of similar bans. We are looking forward to covid numbers going down here in Australia so we can resume our travel plans since the pandemic is unlikely to disappear and life needs to continue, it may still be worth proceeding with travel plans, while taking advantage of all available protective measures.

While the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been spreading rapidly around the world, travel advisors last week reported that, for the most part, bookings remained intact.

Of course, as with any other Covid-related news, Omicron has caused some cancellations and some rebooking headaches (again). But the good news is, most of the people who want to travel aren’t worried about the new variant.

What is impacting travel, in some cases, are things like travel restrictions and flight cancellations as airlines have smaller crews because of omicron cases. 

But there have been some changes here at NipTuck Holidays…..

The rules for entering Thailand have changed once again!

As we were so excited to confirm our first NipTuck Holidays Group Tour for 2022, the recent Omicron surges here in Australia caused the backflip on reopening Western Australia’s international borders.

While so disappointing, but not surprising according to travel experts who said travel is a good idea in 2022 — at least the first half of 2022.

They (mostly) said there was no need to panic or cancel plans . When travelling expect changes! The key was to flexible and ready to adapt plans.

Here’s what we know about Thailand’s Test and Go so far….

It is back and will re-open for registration from the 1st Feb again.

This will apply to both Thais and foreigners wishing to enter Thailand from any country in the world.

🦠The new rules will feature 2 PCR tests. One on day one when you arrive and one again on day 5.

📲You must register on ThailandPlus prior to your travel details & pay for these tests in advance.

Nip Tuck Holidays✈🌏👭🛍⛱🍹] will assist our clients in this process step-by-step process.

🏩The tests booked as required on our SHA + hotel you are required to stay on arrival pre-surgery and on Day 5.

🥼🩺your surgery can be performed after the first PCR test and when results come back negative. Even if there are further changes and Sandbox back it still does not affect your surgery and we can offer after the first test results on Day 2.

With that said, again, they’re all very aware of travel restrictions because of how clearly advisors at the various brands within the travel industry. We need to  remain very flexible in making adjustments, if that’s needed.

Individual Travel for Phuket is still on as we have clients travelling to Thailand.   For cases if client’s are  testing positive during their journey, we’ve worked with them on making sure they’re in a comfortable and safe environment while they ride out their quarantine that they are fully insured for.

The other major thing that has happened in the last week related to our Group Tour to Phuket in March is WA’s backflip on reopening international borders. This is a major bummer as all flights have been cancelled including the Perth-Phuket via Singapore on Singaopre Airlines for our Group Tour.  This will be until at least the end of April or until Perth borders reopen with no restictions.

Therefore , unfortunately we have to re-schedule our March Group to Phuket.

With that said, again, they’re all very aware of travel restrictions because of how clearly advisors at the various brands within the travel industry. We need to  remain very flexible in making adjustments, if that’s needed.

Individual Travel for Phuket is still on as we have clients travelling to Thailand.   For cases if client’s are  testing positive during their journey, we’ve worked with them on making sure they’re in a comfortable and safe environment while they ride out their quarantine that they are fully insured for. The other major thing that has happened in the last week related to our Group Tour to Phuket in March is WA’s backflip on reopening international borders. This is a major bummer as all flights have been cancelled.

With that said, again, they’re all very aware of travel restrictions because of how clearly advisors at the various brands within the travel industry. We need to  remain very flexible in making adjustments, if that’s needed.

Individual Travel for Phuket is still on as we have clients travelling to Thailand.   For cases if client’s are  testing positive during their journey, we’ve worked with them on making sure they’re in a comfortable and safe environment while they ride out their quarantine that they are fully insured for. The other major thing that has happened in the last week related to our Group Tour to Phuket in March is WA’s backflip on reopening international borders. This is a major bummer as all flights have been cancelled.

What to do? Be flexible and ready to adapt plans

The advice is book something you can cancel or delay Then you can reassess when your trip is closer. It wouldn’t be fun quarantining for a substantial portion of your stay.

Airlines have grown particularly flexible as the pandemic continues. Last week I canceled a trip to see family in Miami less than 24 hours before my departure because of worries about Omicron, and we received a full refund from JetBlue. Most airlines are following the same guidelines. Basic economy fares are usually nonrefundable, so read carefully before you purchase the cheapest ticket.

Likewise, if you reserve a hotel room from a third-party booking site (such as Expedia or, or from the hotel itself, don’t jump on the lowest rate. Those are usually the rooms that are nonrefundable. If you have any worries that you might need to cancel, make sure you can do it without penalty.

In addition to staying flexible, stay on top of travel restrictions and lockdowns. As Omicron surges, many European countries are bringing back restrictions

Buy travel insurance

Travel insurance that includes covid is necessary as an entry requirement into some countries and a must for travelling now.  It’s important to make sure you have travel insurance that covers COVID as well as make sure your bookings are refundable should the situation change. That way, if you do have to cancel, you won’t lose money.

Most standard travel insurance plans do not cover COVID-related closures and cancellations, so when you purchase a policy, make sure it’s a “cancel for any reason” or “change for any reason” policy. These policies are more expensive (prices for travel insurance are based on the protections you choose), but spending more at the onset can save you from battling later to get your money back.

At Cambridge-based Hopper, a company that analyzes flight searches, they’ve noticed an increase in people booking flexible options and also the number of people buying “cancel for any reason” policies. Pre-Omicron, that number was one in every eight international bookings, now it’s one in every six.

What will travel look like this year?

Don’t travel unless you’re vaccinated and boosted

This is just common sense. No one (and I mean no one) in the travel industry or the medical world wants you traveling if you haven’t been vaccinated. If you won’t do it for yourself or those you care about, then do it because unvaccinated travel options are shrinking. Most countries require citizens of the United States to be vaccinated in order to enter. Testing alone is not an option. An increasing number of cities (New York, San Francisco, Boston) require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars, and clubs.

The correct answer to whether or not you should travel is that there is no correct answer

The smart advice is conflicting advice! Be bold, but also be cautious. Book your trip with us as we are not cancelling anything anytime!!!!! But be ready to delay and re-schedule it if we have to.

The advice from the travel industry professionals is not to cancel your travel plans but to also get your travel insurance, because the possibility of testing positive remains high move forward, but be prepared to shift gears.

In other words, travel for 2022, at least the beginning of 2022, is starting to look like travel in 2020 and 2021. Hope for the best, but be prepared for all scenarios, good and bad.

South Korea prepares for post-pandemic days with a facelift

Published in the Washington Post by Min Joo Kim and Simon Denyer

SEOUL — In the offices of Grand Plastic Surgery in Seoul’s glitzy Gangnam district, Rhee Se-whan has been busy nipping, tucking and keeping up with clients who see the coronavirus pandemic health rules as the ideal time to tweak their looks.

The doctor — and many others in South Korea’s plastic surgery empire — find themselves in one of the more improbable niches of the pandemic: a miniboom even as other looks-conscious businesses such as fashion and salons have taken big hits from lockdowns and the shift to working from home.

Cosmetic surgeon Dr Rhee Se-whan checks a patient’s recovery in Seoul. (Min Joo Kim/The Washington Post)

Cosmetic surgery and skin clinics in South Korea recorded a 10 percent jump in sales in the first 10 months of 2020 from the previous year, according to a survey by the Hana Institute of Finance in Seoul.

That boost came without the normal medical tourists from overseas who flock to South Korea, a center in Asia for cosmetic surgery and one of the world’s best-known locales for aesthetic procedures.

The demand these days is nearly all local. Rhee said many have taken advantage of the coverage offered by masks to get cosmetic work done.

“We have seen a jump in nose jobs and wrinkle treatment among older people,” he said.

What else is hot? Eyelift or eye bag removal, he said. Body contouring and liposuction, too.

Dr Rhee Se-whan

“Because,” he said, “people are not working out as much while staying at home.”

Some South Koreans — mainly women, but an increasing number of men as well — have become more self-conscious about lines or bags around their eyes because that’s the only part of their face visible in a masked world.

There is also the Zoom effect — noted by some clinics in the United States and elsewhere — in which the chats with co-workers double as digital mirrors for people to stress over perceived wrinkles and lines. The result: a spike in Botox treatments.

Rhee’s patients include people like Kim, a woman in her 30s, who spoke on the condition that she is identified only by her surname out of privacy concerns. She had extra time and money on her hands after her vacation abroad was canceled last year.

“I’ve been considering it for the past five years, and the pandemic year turned out to be perfect timing,” she said.

Kim had what’s known in South Korea as “aristocrat surgery,” the removal of laugh lines she believes made her look older.

“My doctor told me it usually takes a week for post-surgical recovery, but I could actually go to work the day after the operation, as I was wearing a mask at the office the whole day,” she said. “My laugh lines were recovering underneath the mask as I was working.”

South Korea has the fifth-highest number of plastic surgeons in the world, with more than 2,500 in 2019, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. That’s fewer than the 6,900 in the United States and the more than 6,000 in Brazil, but higher on a per capita basis.

Subway South Korea

Lee Eun-hee, a professor of consumer studies at Inha University in Incheon, said it reflects the country’s obsession with physical appearance.

“Girls these days grow up looking at K-pop stars who look like living dolls, and plastic surgery ads target women as young as teenagers,” she said.

In South Korea’s hyper-competitive society, she said, women face so much pressure to look good that it’s almost as though they are in a nationwide beauty contest.

“Korean women find good looks give them decisive leverage, not only in the dating and marriage market, but also in the job market,” she said.

Now, she said, people are making up for lost travel opportunities by splurging on things they can do at home — and plastic surgery is the “peak” item on the binge list.

Demand from South Koreans used to be bunched in the summer and winter holiday seasons, as well as just before the start of the college academic year. During the pandemic, it was spread throughout the year.

The number of people working from home is a big factor, said Rhee, the surgeon, whose office is adorned with photos of him posing with K-pop stars and actors.

“After a facelift, patients need to set aside time for recovery,” he said. “Since the pandemic, patients don’t need to take a week’s vacation anymore; they can spend that time working from home.”

Kim, the patient, says she and her colleagues increasingly share information about plastic surgery, including recommendations about good surgeons or clinics.

“Now that I have fully recovered from the aristocrat surgery, I am actually thinking of getting new facelifts before the pandemic is over,” she said.

At this rate the sky is the limit now the borders are open and patients from all over the world can travel again to South Korea- the plastic surgery capital of the world!

Coming soon to NipTuck Holidays!!!!!!


Article published in Washington Post:

Countries that have reopened for medical tourism 2021 – 2022

First published in The Thaiger

By Cita Catellya

Friday, November 19, 2021 15:54

As a sector that’s heavily reliant on international travel, medical tourism was badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with countries finally reopening, the medical tourism market is now slowly recovering.Medical tourism companies such as NipTuck Holidays and medical centres catering to international patients are resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal.

As a result, the number of people seeking treatment abroad is finally increasing again!

And now countries are reopening and travelling for medical purposes is possible, choosing the best country to visit can be challenging. You’re probably unsure about which country is open and the entry requirements you need to fulfil. So, to help you decide which country you should visit for medical care in 2021, The Thaiger has compiled the top 5 countries that are the new leaders of medical tourism! They all offer top quality medical care at prices much cheaper than in the USA and Europe. Nip Tuck Holidays offers 3/5 of these country’s to our clients!

1. Turkey

The first country that have reopen for medical tourism is Turkey. This country has been one of the most popular medical tourism destinations for many years before the pandemic. People from all around the world come to Turkey for a wide range of procedures, from complex orthopaedic surgeries to cosmetic procedures like hair transplants.

Turkey offers numerous benefits to medical tourists, such as highly trained medical professionals, internationally accredited medical centres, and affordable treatment prices compared with Europe or the USA.

The Turkish authorities are currently in the process of reviving the country’s regional and health tourism economy. Thus, Turkey has one of the easiest entry requirements for Covid-19 around the globe.

Vaccinated international visitors are allowed to visit the country without any restrictions. You also don’t have to undergo quarantine upon arriving in the country. All you have to do is obtain a negative 72-hour PCR test result and proof of vaccination. If you were diagnosed with Covid-19, be sure to provide proof of recovery as well. In addition, every international visitor needs to have travel insurance covering Covid-19.

2. Thailand

Thanks to its advanced and affordable healthcare system, Thailand is one of the top destinations for medical tourism globally. From Bangkok to Phuket, thousands of people flock to this country to combine first-class medical care with a luxury holiday. Most of the highly capable medical professionals in the country received their education in Europe or the USA.

In addition, the country is home to a high number of JCI-accredited hospitals, including the first hospital in East Asia to acquire prestigious accreditations. Whether you’re looking for cosmetic treatments, infertility treatments, or orthopaedic treatments, you can be sure to receive affordable but high-quality care in the Land of Smiles.

After nearly two years of closure, Thailand is finally ready to welcome medical tourists again. As of 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated foreign visitors from low-risk countries can now enter the country by air with no quarantine requirements. You will have to show that you are free from Covid-19 by showing a PCR test before departing to Thailand.

Once you arrive, you will have to take another PCR test. While you don’t have to quarantine, you have to stay at least 1 night at a SHA+ or Alternative Quarantine hotel while waiting for your PCR test result. Another thing you need to have to enter Thailand is travel insurance covering Covid-19.

3. Ukraine

Ukraine can be your top choice if you’re looking for a medical tourism destination in Eastern Europe. Although medical tourism in Ukraine is relatively young, it’s developing rapidly. A large influx of international patients in the country come from Western European and Arab countries. Many people are attracted by the exceptional quality of medical care at affordable costs that Ukraine offers. The medical centres in the country are widely known to be equipped with advanced technology and employ skilled medical professionals. Dental treatments and infertility treatments are particularly popular in Ukraine.

Today, Ukraine is open without restrictions for vaccinated medical tourists all around the world. If you want to visit this country, be sure to obtain a negative PCR test result. You should also provide proof of complete vaccination with vaccines approved by the WHO. These include AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Johnson & Johnson. Additionally, you’ll have to obtain medical insurance that covers you for the entire duration of your trip, but you don’t need to quarantine.

4. Costa Rica

Over the past decade, Costa Rica has become one of the most famous medical tourism destination in North America, especially among patients from Canada and the USA. Compared to these countries, the cost of healthcare in Costa Rica is about 30% to 50% lower. However, the quality of medical care is similar. Besides, the medical professionals in the country carry out their practices according to the law, so you don’t have to worry about getting scammed. In addition, you can easily combine your medical care with a fantastic holiday.

Before entering Costa Rica, the first thing you need to do is complete Health Pass, a digital form for incoming international travellers. Be sure to attach your vaccination certificate to this digital form. Costa Rica accepts tourists vaccinated against Covid-19 with Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. If you’ve been vaccinated with vaccines other than that approved by the Costa Rican authorities, such as Sinovac, you need to obtain travel insurance covering Covid-19. The insurance should cover accommodation for quarantine and medical costs for Covid-19 treatment.

5. Mexico

Before the pandemic, millions of medical tourists chose Mexico as their top medical tourism destination. Today, the country attracts an even larger number of international patients. Mexico is now experiencing the most significant medical tourist flows globally, and it’s easy to see why.

The country offers the highest standard of medical services. The WHO stated that medical centres in Mexico are comparable to those in the USA. From medical professionals to medical equipment, you can be sure to receive affordable, high-quality treatment here. Most people come for dental treatments thanks to the exceptional quality and affordability that dental clinics in the country provide.

Mexico is now open to visitors from all countries. If you’re planning to visit Mexico, you need to register on the Mexico Vuela Seguro Platform. You don’t need to quarantine or do Covid-19 testing. However, you might still want to prepare a proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test for your airline. It’s also a good idea that you obtain health insurance covering Covid-19.

The five countries we mentioned on this list are the new leaders of medical tourism. They all offer top quality medical care at prices much cheaper than in the USA and Europe. Still, it’s important that you do your research on the best hospitals in the country so you can get the best and safest treatment. If you don’t know where to start, it might be helpful to get the help of medical tourism companies such as Nip Tuck Holidays

And if you don’t we do have payment plans starting from just $40 per week now! Get a free quote or more info:

The plastic surgery boom in the Pandemic and after!

At the start of the pandemic here in Australia and all over the world, things didn’t look good for the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery. With lockdown, many hospitals and surgical centres banned all elective procedures, limiting plastic surgeries to those that were reconstructive in nature. In the major cities for plastic surgery like the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, practices had to all but close to all but essential patients or quickly pivot their focus to in-office procedures using local anaesthetic (which we know is only best for the clinic and not in the best interests of the patient).

It was horrendous for medical tourism industry on a global scale. In fact, NipTuck Holidays one of the pioneers medical tourism agencies in Australia since 2007, is one of the few agencies in Australia that not only remains but has expanded through this difficult times offering our clients new destinations of Mexico, Turkey and Bali in addition to Thailand that we have been offering since opening on the Gold Coast.

Even clients desperately wanting a procedure so much they are willing to pay three times the price in their home country, there has been a general sense of fear and the unknown. In Australia with the problems with the closures with State borders meant patients had to cancel their surgeries, in addition to the associated risks of covid with people being afraid of new risks in the face of COVID-19. Some were no longer able to afford their procedures due to changes in income or were pulling back on spending just in case.

But, where there is a will there is a way and more people than ever before were interested in plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures!

Enter the “Zoom Boom”

You might wonder who would want elective surgery in the middle of a pandemic. On the surface, the idea of COVID-19 and lockdown leading to greater interest in plastic surgery may seem odd. Scroll your social media feed and you will see many memes highlighting people wearing pajamas to work and forgetting to so much as brush their hair before flipping open their laptop and “heading to work” from their couch. It makes you wonder how this casual attitude and an increased interest in cosmetic enhancements can exist simultaneously – yet, clearly, they can.

Once you dig a little deeper, it starts to make sense. Anyone who had previously been interested in surgery but worried about the recovery period suddenly had a golden opportunity; while they would still need time off from work, they would require fewer sick days since they could work from bed as they recovered. Plus, that comfy work-from-home wardrobe translates nicely to a post-surgery recovery one.

For those who suddenly didn’t need to commute, buy lunches out and focus on their work wardrobe, the pandemic also meant more money in the bank to spend as they wished.

However, the biggest factor was likely the “Zoom Boom.” With the switch to online work and meetings, many people went from only looking at themselves while washing their hands during bathroom breaks to suddenly staring at their image on a screen for hours each day. As a result, they had ample time to analyze their lines, wrinkles, double chins and more.

As one would expect, people quickly turned to seeking out solutions. And thus, thousands upon thousands began seeking plastic surgery during the pandemic.

Which procedures saw a boost?

The year 2020 changed everything, including plastic surgery trends.

For years, breast augmentation had reigned supreme, with liposuctionrhinoplastyeyelid surgery and facelifts rounding out the top five. These procedures remained popular in 2020; after all, there is a reason why people are so interested in them, and the pandemic made getting and recovering from these procedures easier for many.

However, interest in facial procedures grew significantly, thanks to Zoom and other video chatting platforms. Patients began requesting everything from chin liposuction to facelifts with greater frequency than ever before. There was also an increased interest in med spa procedures, such as botox and fillers, prompting many practices to increase their focus on their nonsurgical offerings, or even innovate their delivery methods to accommodate drive-thru procedures.

Lasting change or a fleeting trend?

Many are wondering if this increased interest in plastic surgery in general and facial procedures, in particular, is going to last once the pandemic is finally brought under control. While this is difficult to predict, most likely, these plastic surgery trends will continue even after the masks are put away.

First, there is the fact that, while the phrase is overused, the “new normal” is unlikely to give way to a return of the “old normal.” Companies have seen increased productivity and lowered costs by switching to a work-from-home model. People are coming to enjoy their virtual chats, and even when socializing in person again, are unlikely to eliminate Zoom from their lives.

Second, Millennials are aging. The oldest members of the generation are 38 years old in 2021. Thanks to the rise of Gen Z and platforms like TikTok, they are also acutely aware that they are no longer the young kids on the block. Unlike previous generations, they are facing 40 while living in an online world. Even if the new normal were to fully disappear, social media will not.

Medical Tourism is Back!

As such, the plastic surgery boom might lose some of its steam in a post-pandemic world, but it is unlikely to end especially now the medical tourism market is officially re-bounding globally! In fact quite the opposite as the prices as set the plunge significantly for people with the resumption of international travel, and set for full recovery!

Experts say we may even see some growth by the end of 2022 as pre-pandemic levels are being restored. With the resumption of travel, medical tourism is set to see growth by the end of 2022 at pre-pandemic rates as demand is being restored.

Official Data

GlobalData estimates that there were over 14 million inbound visits by medical tourists globally in 2019 and forecasts this number to continue to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.5% until 2024. Some of the fastest-growing markets are forecast to increase at CAGRs as high as 15% over the next few years. Several compounding factors contribute to the rapidly growing medical tourism industry. These include, but are not limited to, rising healthcare costs among developed nations, technological and infrastructure advancements in the destination countries and the rise of international accreditation agencies.

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the medical tourism industry, particularly in H1 2020. The main causes of this decline were the implementation of travel restrictions and the global postponement of the majority of elective procedures in an effort to minimise the spread of the disease. During summer 2020, global active Covid-19 caseloads temporarily declined, thus permitting the resumption of elective procedures. As international travel has slowly resumed, so has the demand for medical tourism. GlobalData estimates this market to fully rebound to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, after which it will experience pre-pandemic growth rates.

Sources: About ECS International

Despite the pandemic… there is an increase in plastic and cosmetic surgery. Why?

According to the latest annual statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly $16.7 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in the U.S. in 2020 alone. A recent poll also revealed that 11% of women surveyed said they are more interested in cosmetic plastic surgery or non-surgical procedures now than before COVID-19 –  and the figure is even higher among women who have already had surgery or a procedure.

This is food for thought as generally the stats in America are globally reflective…. Let’s discuss some common misconceptions about aesthetic surgery and factors that made cosmetic surgery so popular last year.

Covid-19 is fuelling a Zoom-boom in cosmetic surgery

Depressed by your appearance on video calls? Men and women alike are splashing out on face-lifts, lip-plumping and more non-surgical procedures. It all but stopped the medical tourism industry and was a God send in the interim for local plastic surgeons with higher prices.

CALL IT “Zoom face-envy”. Because of the rise of video-conferencing during the pandemic, legions now spend hours staring at their own faces and, inevitably, comparing them with those of others. Poor lighting and the skewed angles of laptop cameras are rarely flattering. Nor is “lockdown face”, brought on by stress, or a dearth of sunlight and exercise.

Close-up Of A Surgeon Drawing Perforation Lines On Young Woman’s Face For Plastic Surgery

More people were using video technology and they became more aware of what they looked like in a public setting. Also, employees across all industries were working remotely, which allowed more time for elective surgery and recovery.Many cosmetic surgeons had expected the pandemic to hammer business. Instead the industry is enjoying a Zoom-boom. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reckons that the pandemic has led to a 10% increase in cosmetic surgery countrywide.

The Face Of 2020: The Newest Non-Surgical ‘Glow-Cedures’ To Lift, Sculpt And Shape

An increase in technology benefits patients so no wonder our appetite for ‘tweakments’ has grown. Around one in four of us would now consider an aesthetic treatment such as Botox to give our skin a boost,* with the UK non-surgical market set to be worth £3 billion by 2024!**

The aim is not a fake look, rather one that communicates happiness, good health and enough sleep.

The world of aesthetic treatments – essentially anything from a facial to surgery – has come a long way since the days of ice-rink smooth foreheads and bouncy-castle lips. Clunky old machines have given way to a whizzy, multifunctional kit; injectable formulas are far gentler; and doctors themselves have honed a more delicate touch. The result: quick, effective, often painless treatments offering a payoff (sometimes immediate) beyond the reach of skincare alone.

Nowadays, surgically altered faces and physiques are seemingly everywhere. Has it gotten you wondering how big the market for cosmetic surgery in Australia is, how much money Aussies spend on perfecting their looks, and what the most common beauty enhancements are? Well, you’re in luck since we’ve rounded up the most captivating and insightful cosmetic surgery statistics to give you a peek behind the curtain.

Perhaps you’re even considering going under the knife yourself and want to know what the cosmetic surgery in Australia prices are. Read on to find out!

Cosmetic Surgery Facts in Australia

  • 202,642 cosmetic surgeries were performed in Australia in 2018.
  • The most popular procedures among Aussies in 2018 were breast implants and botox.
  • A total of 38,937 breast surgeries were performed in Australia in 2018.
  • By the number of plastic surgeons, Australia ranked 22th in the world in 2019.
  • Aussies aged 35-50 get the most cosmetic procedures.
  • 90% of cosmetic surgeries in Australia are performed on women.
  • BDD is the most common psychiatric disorder in cosmetic surgery statistics.
  • Australian citizens spend about $1 billion on cosmetic procedures every year.
  • The number of injectables used in Australia cosmetic clinics tripled in the year to April 2021.
  • An estimated 15,000 Aussies fly overseas for low cost cosmetic surgery every year.

Cosmetic Surgery Statistics in Australia

The most-searched-for cosmetic procedure in Australia in early 2021 was botox.

Upwards of 1.6 million Aussies search for cosmetic surgery-related topics every month. As of January 2021, the top five most popular enhancements based on web searches for cosmetic surgery in Australia are:

  • Botulinum toxin injections were the subject of 12,100 queries in one month.
  • Lip fillers got 9,900 online searches.
  • With 8,700 monthly inquiries, liposuction was the third most desired procedure.
  • 8,100 individuals looked into getting a nose job.
  • 6,600 Aussies were interested in a tummy tuck.

Australia Cosmetic Surgery Spending Statistics

Australian citizens spend about $1 billion on cosmetic procedures every year!

  • Per capita, Aussies spend 40% more on aesthetic treatments than Americans do.
  • An abdominoplasty costs from $6,000-$8,000. If you have private health insurance that covers cosmetic surgery, it might partially foot the bill.
  • A breast augmentation will set you back about $12,000 in Australia. Surgeon fees are about half this amount, so roughly $6,000. In addition, there are other costs, such as for the anesthesiologist, implants, hospital fees, etc., which total about $3,000.
  • Based on the latest 2020 and 2021 statistics, the cost of hair transplantation in the country is $5.5 US per graft, similar to that in the USA.
  • How much is liposuction in Australia? It’s one of the costliest procedures out there. Prices for a single part of the body reach $5,000, while four body parts can cost up to $15,000.
  • A nose job costs between $5,000-$15,000. When other fees are factored in, the final price tag is anywhere from $8,000-$20,000.
  • One treatment with the overused injectable botox can cost $300-$700, depending on where it’s administered and how many units are used. On average, it lasts for 3-4 months.
  • According to cosmetic surgery statistics, fillers made from hyaluronic acid, collagen, or other related substances range from $500-$600 in cost and last from six months up to two years.

In 2020, the Australian aesthetic product industry was worth an estimated $201.10 million.

The increasing demand on the global market for cosmetic surgery, as well as the quicker technical innovations in products, are the key factors driving the development of the aesthetic device market. Namely, this market in Australia is expected to be worth $371 million by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.78%.

The Impact of Covid-19 on Cosmetic Surgery Stats in Australia

400,000 elective surgical procedures were cancelled in Oz from February to May 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic temporarily shut down all facilities where cosmetic procedures were being performed. Nevertheless, even during the Covid crisis, Australia’s cosmetic surgeons reported an over 50% spike in demand for surgeries and treatments.

The number of injectables used in Australia cosmetic clinics tripled in the year to April 2021.

During the pandemic, Aussies predominantly sought out cosmetic procedures on their foreheads, brows and eyes, or practically all parts of the face that aren’t covered by masks. The demand for injectables, facelifts and rhinoplasties in clinics across the country increased by 300% as people were looking to attain the perfect “Zoom face”.

Cosmetic Surgery Stats: Australia vs Other Countries

26. In 2019, the USA recorded nearly 4 million cosmetic surgeries.

According to international cosmetic surgery statistics, the United States was at the top for two years in a row by the total number of procedures. In 2019, 3,982,749 treatments were completed in that country (1,351,917 surgical and 2,630,832 non-surgical ones), a decrease from 2018, when 4,361,867 aesthetic procedures were performed (1,492,383 surgical and 2,869,485 non-surgical).

Over 2.5 million procedures were performed in Brazil in 2019.

The cosmetic surgery industry is also booming in Brazil. It held second place in the world for two consecutive years with a total of 2,565,675 procedures overall in 2019, an increase from 2018’s 2,267,405.

However, it topped the global list in terms of esthetic surgeries both years, with 1,493,673 done in 2019 and 1,498,327 in 2018. The number of non-surgical treatments performed in this Latin American country was 1,072,002 and 769,078 in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Among the countries with the most plastic surgery in 2019 were also: 

  • Japan with 1,473,221, of which 249,543 surgical and 1,223,678 non-surgical procedures.
  • Mexico with 1,200,464, of which 580,659 surgical and 619,804 non-surgical.
  • Italy with 1,088,704, of which 314,432 surgical and 774,272 non-surgical.

28. An estimated 15,000 Aussies fly overseas for low cost cosmetic surgery every year.

According to the findings of an international study, Australians spend $300 million a year on plastic surgery tourism. The most common explanation for taking this kind of trip, often to Malaysia or Thailand, is that they can normally get cheap cosmetic surgery abroad. Mexico and Turkey have now become medical tourism hotspots!

Finishing Touches

Despite the pandemic, in Australia, plastic surgery is booming, and people are less and less afraid to undergo cosmetic procedures. What’s more, it seems that many are “doing it for the Gram”, or just to look good on camera.

However, getting surgery always comes with certain risks, and the patient might end up not liking their new look. Therefore, more regulations are needed since cosmetic surgery statistics suggest that Aussies’ love affair with surgical augmentations is here to stay.