It may be surprising to some, but the conservative nation of Iran flaunts one of the highest reported numbers of nose jobs each year, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported.
According to the statistics released by the Rhinology Research Society of Iran, more than 80,000 cosmetic nose surgeries are performed in Iran every year. The popular procedure can cost more than five times the minimum Iranian monthly salary of $270, as defined by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Iran.
However, those figures may be grossly underreported: a study published in the conservative newspaper Etemad claimed that as many as 200,000 Iranians, mostly women, go to cosmetic surgeons each year to reduce the size of their nose and make the tip point upwards. That’s nearly seven times the rate of nose jobs per capita in the United States, claims a collaborative investigation conducted by John Hopkins University and the Rhinology Research Society of Iran.
Abdolhossein Emami, head of the Association of Iranian Cosmetic Surgeons, has had extensive trouble pinpointing an exact figure.
“We do not have accurate statistics regarding cosmetic procedures performed in the country. Doctors, for economic reasons, are not willing to tell us the number of their patients. However, we know that the numbers of cosmetic surgeries performed in Iran are increasing,” Emami shared with the Iranian media.
The massive discrepancy in statistics suggests that Iranian consumers are looking to unlicensed surgeons in an attempt to cut costs – a worrisome trend that has created a lucrative back-door market. It isn’t just a demand for rhinoplasty that is spiking dramatically: Botox, lip augmentation, upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and eye lift procedures are becoming more popular every year.
Until the early 2000’s, legal cosmetic surgeries in Iran were limited to nose surgeries for women and hair implants for men. Most patients would hide the fact that they had gone under the knife, taking breaks from work to travel and only returning once scarring from surgery was completely healed. As cosmetic surgery worked its way into the mainstream of Iranian culture, the veil of secrecy lifted. Now, Iranians prominently display "bandages of honor" across noses, sometimes long after healing, unafraid of societal scorn.
For Iranians, cosmetic surgery is no longer just a way to improve one’s outward appearance. Too many young Persian women, visible evidence of a cosmetic procedure is one way to advertise that they come from a wealthy family, willing to provide for them. In some ways, the ability to purchase a desirable nose is preferable to having the genetic predisposition to one.
If you or someone you know would like more information about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!
Dr. Mark Schusterman and Dr. Sanaz Harirchian
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