April 13, 2024

Iran is becoming a cosmetic surgery powerhouse

A steep rise in cosmetic surgery in Iran is worrying doctors. “The authentic Iranian face is being distorted through invasive procedures,” Babak Nikoumaram, chair of the Iranian Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons, told the Financial Times. “Incongruous Western beauty standards are forced upon Iranians.”

In 2022 Iran ranked 12th in the world for the number of cosmetic surgery procedures, up from 18th in 2016. Rhinoplasty was the most popular procedure, followed by liposuction, eyelid surgery, abdominoplasty and breast augmentation.

But official statistics are unreliable and numbers may be far higher. 

Last year, the interior minister said that people whose appearance had changed radically would need to apply for new ID documentation. 

Despite a floundering economy, demand for cosmetic procedures is strong. “I’ve worked in gyms where most women came from poor families but getting lip fillers was all that mattered to them,” one woman told the Financial Times. “The prices are still affordable for people on a budget.”

According to the newspaper: “Senior plastic surgeons have called for better regulation of the industry and adoption of international best practice, including a minimum age for surgery, mandatory professional training and requiring doctors to disclose mistakes made by peers.”