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    Cosmetic surgery on the rise in India

    Mumbai, India — Now that the British government has decided to impose a value-added tax on cosmetic surgeries — dubbed the “boob tax” in the U.K. — practices in India may see business blossom even more, CNNGo.com reports.

    Business analysts say India’s cosmetic surgery sector is growing by between 20 and 30 percent annually, and that tourism to the country for medical purposes continues to rise. India ranks among the top five medical tourism destinations. The exact number of tourists who visit India every year just for cosmetic surgery is uncertain, however. Estimates range from 10,000 to 100,000 medical tourists a year seeking cosmetic procedures, and some analysts estimate the value of the market in India to be about $25 million. That’s likely to increase just from British visitors alone, as the new tax is expected to add an extra 20 percent to cost of a cosmetic procedure in the U.K.

    More than half of all cosmetic surgery tourists have their procedures performed in Mumbai, India’s entertainment capital. But tourists seeking aesthetic procedures aren’t the only factor accounting for India’s cosmetic surgery boom — domestic demand is up as well.

    Once considered taboo for all but the wealthy, cosmetic procedures are on the increase among members of India’s middle class. More men are seeking procedures, as are younger people between the ages of 20 and 40.

    According to CNNGo.com, Mumbai cosmetic surgeons say that young and middle-aged Indian clients are scheduling procedures including rhinoplasty, chin augmentation, lip or breast augmentation, dental corrections and hair removal. Older clients want liposuction, wrinkle removal, facelifts, hair weaving and removal of stretch marks.

    Foreign clients mainly seek abdominoplasty, laser liposuction, facelifts, breast augmentation and dental work — all of which cost significantly less in India than in many tourists’ homelands.

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    Bill Gillette
    Bill Gillette is a freelance writer based in Richmond Heights, Ohio.


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