Prices for cosmetic plastic surgery in China are hard to pin down because they vary widely throughout the country. In the past, China's plastic surgery costs have been the lowest in East and Southeast Asia, running less than one-third those in South Korea (which, in turn, were about one-third of those for comparable surgery in the United States).
But China's rockbottom prices of five years are now vanishing very quickly.
Performed in a modern, well-equipped, licensed facility, prices in 2011 are much higher than most in the West now imagine. For instance, double eyelid surgery or rhinoplasty varies from about $1,500 to $3,000 per procedure at Evercare Aikang hospital catering to the well-to-do in downtown Beijing. Jaw reshaping runs around $9,000, while jawline and cheek bone reshaping together cost $15,000.
Although some clinics in Beijing still claim that prices can run 8-10 times higher in Korea, such past large disparities are now only applicable to surgery performed in China's huge underground network of beauty parlors where so-called "doctors" illegally offer double eyelid surgery for about $180.
One Chinese academic noted that regional prices around the country vary according to local income, and a typical eyelid surgery, for instance, tends to cost about one month's local income. In the city that amount can be much higher than in the country, where quality can be more "hit and miss."
Of course, other costs such as for travel, lodging, and varying rates of exchange need to be factored into the total price of having surgery abroad. Such expenditures are not taken into account in the cost comparisons noted above.