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    South and Central American Colleagues wield global cosmetic surgery influence

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    There's no question that many South American countries, led by Brazil, have played an influential role in the development and evolution of body contouring techniques. Park City, Utah-based Renato Saltz, M.D., president-elect of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and education council chair, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), says South America's strong worldwide influence on cosmetic surgery is fueled, in part, by cultures focused on their bodies.


    Dr. Saltz
    "I think it is true for most South American countries, such as Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, that...their attention is on their bodies....their focus is much more significant than it is here, for the North Americans, or even Europeans," says Dr. Saltz, who grew up in Brazil but did his medical training in the U.S. Interestingly, this focus, he says, tends to create a more demanding cosmetic surgery patient in South America than in the U.S. which, in turn, pushes the practitioner's creative envelope. "They are, in general, much more attentive to the detail than North American patients. I think that pushes you as a surgeon to come up with new techniques — to come up with solutions to get results and satisfy that kind of a client," Dr. Saltz tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.

    Colombian plastic surgeon Miryam Reyes, M.D., agrees that, in South America, the three countries at the forefront of cosmetic surgery are Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. "Colombia and some other Latin American countries are on par with the USA. We have the latest techniques and technology here; we practice plastic surgery with good ethics and professionalism," Dr. Reyes says.


    Dr. Guerrerosantos
    Population demands also propel Mexico's cosmetic surgery-embracing culture, says Fernando Guerrerosantos, M.D., a plastic surgeon in Guadalajara, Mexico.

    "There are lots of plastic surgeons per capita," says Dr. Guerrerosantos, explaining that Mexican consumers seek cosmetic surgery on a regular basis because they are strongly influenced by the U.S. and Europe.


    Dr. Ribeiro
    BURGEONING CENTERS Doctors in both South and Central America say demand for cosmetic surgery there runs high and is still growing. More specifically, they cite Brazil and the U.S. as the two major pillars of aesthetic surgery, not only in the development of new techniques but also in the number of surgeons and surgeries, says Sampaio Goes, M.D., Ph.D., a plastic surgeon in So Paolo and former ISAPS president.

    "Growth in plastic surgery is the same here as all over the world, between 12 to 18 percent a year," Dr. Goes says. As he noted in the May-August 2008 ISAPS News, "Plastic surgery is one of the most important specialties in Brazil today, ranking second in the world among countries performing this type of surgery. The most frequently performed procedures, ranked by popularity, were (1) liposuction/body contouring, (2) breast surgery, (3) facial surgery, (4) rhinoplasty, and (5) eyelid surgery. Nearly 30 percent of all plastic surgeries performed were done in So Paulo state."

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    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is a writer in Boca Raton, Fla., who heads up her company, Words Come Alive.

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