Beijing: China's plastic surgery industry is set to become the world's third largest by the end of this year with a valuation of 400 billion yuan ($62.6 billion) and is expected to double in size by 2019.
If growth continues as expected, China will be the world's third largest market after the US and Brazil, the China Daily reported on Tuesday.
The report, issued by the China Association of Plastics and Aesthetics on Monday, found that over seven million Chinese people, mostly women, went under the knife last year.
An additional ten percent foreigners have come to China for plastic surgery year-on-year for the past five years, the report said.
In the past decade, the industry has increased in China by 30 percent each year on average, said the report. The most popular procedures include those on the eyes and nose, such as double eyelid surgery and nasal bridge augmentation, breast enhancements and liposuction.
Worldwide, breast enlargement is the most popular procedure, but not in China.
For instance, the US records 300,000 breast enhancements each year while in China 50,000 to 100,000 are performed, according to Du Xiaoyan, vice-secretary general of the association.
China now has more than 10,000 plastic surgery clinics and the number is increasing by 30 percent each year, said the report.
However, due to a lack of regulations or strict management controls, unqualified practitioners also operate, leading to medical disputes and dangers to customers' health and safety.