China experiences plastic surgery boom

18 January 2011

China’s cosmetic surgery industry is now estimated to be worth US$220 million, with around three million people choosing to undergo plastic surgery in 2009. These latest figures come from the Chinese Association of Plastic and Aesthetics, which puts this meteoric rise in the popularity of cosmetic surgery down to China’s new found consumer spending power. Until the 1980s, cosmetic surgery was banned by China’s communist government, but since the ban was lifted, Chinese people have opted for procedures including face lifts, breast augmentation, and eyelid surgery. In an interview with, Dr Shi Sanba, a plastic surgeon with her own clinic in Beijing, said: “Now that China is getting richer, people are no longer satisfied with their appearance.” Dr Sanba’s clinic attracts politicians, celebrities, and China’s elite, and she admits to having undergone over 60 procedures herself, trying out new techniques and treatments before offering them to her clients.