Eyebrow-Raising Australian Cosmetic Surgery Statistics

Australian cosmetic surgery statistics

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 as Plain as the Nose on Your Face

  • 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

1. Plastic surgeons can refer to themselves as cosmetic surgeons, but not vice versa. 

(Australian Lawyers Alliance) 

You aren’t alone if you believe that the terms cosmetic and plastic surgery are interchangeable. It’s a common misconception. When talking about cosmetic surgery vs plastic surgery, we must emphasise that the former is performed for aesthetics, while the latter is first and foremost done for health reasons. 

2. Any doctor with a medical degree is eligible to perform surgery in Australia. 

(Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery) (Australian Lawyers Alliance) 

More often than not, general surgeons, general practitioners and dermatologists choose to perform cosmetic operations. Furthermore, they often only have approval from the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS), which isn’t recognised by the Australian Medical Board.

In contrast, plastic surgeons have 12 years of medical and surgical training and an additional five years of specialisation. They have certificates from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

3. 202,642 cosmetic surgeries were performed in Australia in 2018.


The latest available cosmetic surgery statistics in Australia show that of the total number performed in 2018, 102,404 were surgical cosmetic procedures and 100,238 non-surgical. The country ranked 9th in the world that year by the number of procedures, with 4.2% of the population undergoing surgical and 4.1% non-surgical ones.

4. Australians usually choose cosmetic surgery for aesthetic purposes.

(HealthDirect) (HealthEngine)

The most common reason people cite for seeking cosmetic procedures is lack of confidence or dissatisfaction with their physical appearance. Therefore, men and women generally get nips and tucks from cosmetic surgeons in an attempt to attain the elusive “ideal” body or face. That way, they hope to improve their self-esteem and feel better about themselves. 


The top five most common cosmetic surgery procedures in Australia in 2018 were: 

  • breast augmentation (17.1% of the total)
  • eyelid surgery (11.2%)
  • liposuction (9.6%)
  • abdominoplasty (9.3%)
  • breast reduction (7.4%)

In turn, the most common non-surgical ones were:

  • botox (41% of the total)
  • hyaluronic acid (29.5%)
  • fat reduction (10.3%)
  • hair removal (7.5%)
  • photorejuvenation (5%)

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

(Beauticate) (Statista)

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.

7. A total of 38,937 breast surgeries were performed in Australia in 2018. 


How many breast augmentations are performed each year? The most recent breast augmentation statistics show that 17,553 such procedures were completed in Australia in 2018. The nation ranked 9th in the world by the number of boob jobs that year.

In turn, 4,505 breast implant removals were performed that year, whereas 7,223 patients opted for a breast lift.

8. Breast reduction was the second most common breast surgery in Oz in 2018.


With 7,592 operations, breast reduction was the second most sought-out type of breast operation Aussies got in 2018. Gynecomastia surgery (the removal of male breast tissue) grew in prevalence, just making it into the top five breast surgeries in Australia that year with 2,065 procedures.

9. In 2018, 34,893 face and head operations were performed in Australia. 


According to the latest available annual figures on cosmetic surgery in Australia, 11,444 people got eyelid operations, ranking the country 10th globally by the number of blepharoplasties.

Rhinoplasty is another prevalent intervention, done on 6,864 people in 2018. In terms of nose surgery, Australia also ranked 10th in the world that year. 

Further down the list were face fat grafting, with 5,928 procedures performed, and facelifts, with 3,301 surgeries done.

10. 28,574 body and extremity procedures were done in Australia in 2018. 


Cosmetic surgery statistics in Australia tell us that the country’s citizens underwent 9,839 liposuctions in 2018. Abdominoplasties were close behind, with 9,539 people undergoing this treatment. Additionally, lower body lifts were also prominent, with 3,076 procedures done.

11. Botulinum toxin is the most frequently used injectable in Australia. 


Based on the most recent annual survey from 2018, injectables were favoured by 71,840 Australians, while facial rejuvenation procedures were preferred by 10,502.

Botox statistics show that 41,077 injections were administered that year, with Australia ranking 9th globally for its use. Dermal fillers were also popular in the cosmetic surgery industry Down Under, with 29,559 people receiving HA injections. Photorejuvenation, on the other hand, was elected by 5,008 Aussies.

12. By the number of plastic surgeons, Australia ranked 22th in the world in 2019.


Remember our discussion above about the difference between plastic vs cosmetic surgery and their meaning? Well, in 2019, Australia had around 462 licensed plastic surgeons, a decrease from the previous year’s tally of 535, when the nation was 20th in the world in terms of the estimated number of plastic surgeons.

Cosmetic Surgery Demographics in Australia 

13. Aussies aged 35-50 get the most cosmetic procedures.

(Australian Psychological Society) (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners)

In Australia, anybody, regardless of age, can get cosmetic surgery, except in Queensland, where performing a medically unnecessary operation on a minor is a criminal offence.

Which age group has the most cosmetic procedures? Based on the most recent available data from 2015, the highest percentage of cosmetic procedures in Oz is done on middle-aged patients.

14. Over one-quarter of Australian women who got breast implants in 2018 were 17 or younger.

(ISAPS) (Body and Soul)

Breast augmentation is the most common enhancement for women in their 20s-40s, although it’s also seen among teens and young adults. According to cosmetic surgery statistics in Australia, 26.7% of women who underwent this procedure in 2018 were 17 years old or younger.

Liposuction and liposculpture are most often performed on men and women between the ages of 20-50, but also women in their late 60s.

Botox statistics tell us that it’s popular among people of all ages, ranging from 19-65 years old.

15. 90% of cosmetic surgeries in Australia are performed on women.

(Australian Psychological Society)

The most recent info suggests that breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery for women. Men, on the other hand, are most likely to undergo liposuction.

Cosmetic Surgery Issues and Risk Factors

16. What are the side effects of cosmetic surgery?

(Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery) (Insight) (Better Health Channel)

Scarring, infection, numbness, heavy bleeding, and difficulty recovering are all cosmetic surgery complications that can occur. In addition, the risks from getting cosmetic procedures include both life-threatening and, unfortunately, deadly situations.

  • Pain and discomfort are the most common side effects of esthetic surgeries. 
  • The risks related to anaesthesia include nausea and vomiting, as well as being disoriented, feeling cold and shivering, having difficulty peeing, etc.
  • Swelling, bruising and discolouration are also frequently reported side effects in cosmetic surgery statistics. These can last for weeks or even months.
  • Hematomas and seromas are also common post-op.
  • Serious side effects can arise at times. For example, a heart attack, blood clot, stroke, massive infection, or pulmonary embolism are uncommon but not unheard of.
  • Cosmetic surgery gone wrong statistics tell us that in 2018, two young women in NSW went into cardiac arrest during breast augmentations, while a Gold Coast woman died in Mexico while getting a Brazilian butt lift in 2015.

17. Non-surgical methods are less dangerous but still not without risk.


Non-surgical cosmetic treatments bear some risk but are generally safer. Botox, for example, might be injected incorrectly, and the botulinum toxin might enter the patient’s system, causing muscle weakness and vision, speech, swallowing and breathing problems.

18. BDD is the most common psychiatric disorder in cosmetic surgery statistics.

(Australian Psychological Society)

Body frustration is a significant emotional motivator in seeking out cosmetic procedures. Most people are unsatisfied with their appearance, but the majority of those who get such treatments tend to be severely unhappy with their looks. There are a few recognised disorders associated with this, but body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is thought to be the most widespread (1-3% of the general population), especially in cosmetic populations (5-15%).

People suffering from this condition are more likely to go under the knife, hoping to alleviate their symptoms. They’re also most likely to be dissatisfied with the outcome of their esthetic surgeries and get more of them. Unfortunately, for practically all BDD sufferers, the condition only gets worse.

19. Aussie patients need more knowledge about the credentials of cosmetic surgeons.

(Schreuders Compensation Lawyers) (Sheree Moko Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery)

Doctors who perform cosmetic surgery in Australia are frequently unaccredited and unregistered as surgeons with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Even worse, beauticians tend to open illegal studios and perform dangerous cosmetic procedures in so-called “clinics” located in apartments.

Namely, as a 2019 online poll carried out on behalf of ASAPS showed, 93% of Australians believe that requiring medical practitioners to use only their AHPRA titles would help patients tell the difference, especially since 18-24-year-olds are least likely to care about their surgeon’s credentials. Nearly 60% of patients stated that they would’ve chosen someone else if they’d known their cosmetic surgeon wasn’t a trained plastic surgeon.

20. 85% of ASAPS members treated patients with cosmetic surgery complications in 2019.

(Sheree Moko Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery) (Sydney Health Law)

Because of an increase in cosmetic surgery complications in NSW, the Committee on the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) recommended in 2018 that the title “cosmetic surgeon” be banned.

Under a report endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council, a practitioner should be registered, the facility where the operations are being performed should be licensed, there should be strict infection prevention controls, some of the substances and equipment used should be controlled, and consumer protections should be in place.

Australia Cosmetic Surgery Spending Statistics

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

(Insight) (Statista)

  • Per capita, Aussies spend 40% more on esthetic 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. Further check-ups usually cost $250 per session.
  • 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.

22. From 2015-2021, Australia’s plastic surgery industry saw an estimated decline of 0.6%.


It’s projected that the plastic surgeon industry Down Under is on track to contract 1.3% annually over the five years through 2020-2021, primarily due to Covid restrictions and economic difficulties, to $1.3 billion. However, it’s expected to rebound in the second half of 2020-21, leading to 5.6% annual sales growth.

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

(Mordor Intelligence)

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

24. 400,000 elective surgical procedures were cancelled in Oz from February to May 2020.

(Mordor Intelligence) (Beauticate)

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.

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

(Herald Sun) (The New Daily)

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).

27. 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.

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.


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