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The Scalpel Kingdom: Argentina, Third in Cosmetic Surgery

The Scalpel Kingdom: Argentina, Third in Cosmetic Surgery  Cirugia plastica Cirugia estetica



In a year were 50,000 operations, 60% more over 2003. According to an international report this amount is second after the U.S. and Mexico. Men and foreigners enter the operating room very frequently for surgery.

The country is experiencing the boom of the scalpel. "Argentines are increasingly trying to be more beautiful and younger. And also many foreigners choose to perform surgery in Buenos Aires. This trend puts Argentina in third place on the map of the highest number of cosmetic surgery, after the United States and Mexico, according to a study by the International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). Last year, 49,590 people were here some kind of "touch", which represents 8.5% of the global market.

It is a growing trend. Over the past three years Argentina climbed five places in the world ranking. The number of interventions increased by 59% over 2003 to 31,232 surgeries ranked fifth. And this year almost doubled the operations in 2002. By then, the country was in eighth place.

In relation to the U.S., the leader of the ranking, Argentina has the highest proportion of surgery for the amount of population. The most popular: Injections of Botox (botulinum toxin type A), in the country started selling in 1997, facial lifting and breast surgeries.

Why is this happening? Martha Mogliano, president of the Plastic Surgery Society of Buenos Aires said that the main reason is economic. "After crisis, there is some stability, and instead of saving on a bank, some people decide to schedule an operation that they have been wishing for some time, some people even get a loan to pay for it."

Moreover, the experts agree that also the influence of the latest advances in aesthetic medicine and anesthesiology, decrease the fear of patients on entering the operating room. The good level of health is another good reason, according to Manuel Sarrabayrouse, chief of plastic surgery at the Italian Hospital.

But in the quest for eternal youth is not limited to the female gender. The study of ISAPS, covering 42 countries around the world, indicates that 2 out of 10 people who were operating in Argentina are men. In 2003, the percentage was 13%.

"Looking to be a little youth" Mogliano says: " They are professionals, executives, business people that work has to compete with younger, perhaps with more presence"

Another fact from the sampling of the ISAPS showed that the "fever" for cosmetic surgery for teenagers in the late 90's: when less than 21 years operate from 18% in 2003, now dropped to 3%. However, now, patients older than 50 years old when from: 17% and increased to 32.5%.

In these figures there are many foreigners. This trend began with the order of 1 to 1 and continues to increase, while surprising and not arouse controversy.

Above all Spaniards, Israelis, Americans and Chileans increasingly adhere to the "scalpel tourism" that combines plastic surgery clinics in Argentina with stays in hotels of all categories. All of them were cheaper by the advantageous of the euro and the dollar with the peso.

Dr. Marcelo Bernstein, member of the Society of Plastic Surgery in Buenos Aires, says that 30% of his patients come to his office through these Medical trips. "70% are women from 25 to 50 years, old and 30% men between 25 and 40 years old. It depends on the type of intervention received their medical release for 5 to 14 days. If the post-surgery is comfortable they can make excursions mostly for Patagonia, which for these cases is more appropriate than warm weather sites.

These tours are also well known as "Express Surgeries" or "Botox tours". In the medical environment preferred to call it "health tourism" because, they explain, also offer eye and cardiovascular surgery.

But this is not the only controversy: Argentine case that some Country Houses is also giving a trend combine aesthetics and entertainment, known as "Botox party", popular in U.S. style like "Tupperware" meetings, the owner invited a group of friends to inject Botox: Blisters sharing and low costs. "This is not back by any scientific institution," said Seleme. "Even if looks like a simple procedure, any treatment requires a medical consultation."

Graciela Gioberchio

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