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Lower price drives expats to get plastic surgery locally

(Shanghai Daily)

10:04, June 20, 2013

Foreigners account for a large and increasing portion of patients at some of the city's local plastic surgery centers, which offer much lower prices than in Western countries.

But their favorite services are different from those of Chinese patients, and they are much more likely to trust "word of mouth" than ads or promotions, hospital officials said.

"With the arrival of summer, many foreigners come to the hospital for bikini line hair removal," said Lin Liai, an official with Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital, where more than 20 percent of patients are foreigners.

Aside from permanent hair removal, skin therapy such as shrinking face pores and treating aging skin with lasers is popular with expats, officials said. For Chinese patients, procedures such as double eyelid surgery or nose reconstruction are more popular.

The low price is the biggest attraction for foreigners, many of whom would have to pay five to six times as much back home.

Hair removal for one area, such as the legs, is 4,000 yuan (US$645) while it is about US$4,000 in many Western countries, industry officials said.

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