An increasingly image-conscious Indonesia is seeing a boom in plastic surgery. The industry has enjoyed 400 percent growth over the past five years, according to a representative of the Indonesian Plastic Surgeons Association (Perapi).
Dr. Teddy Prasetyono, former secretary general of the association, said the number of licensed plastic surgeons operating in the country, and the number of clients, was at an all-time high.
“If we go back five years to 2005, there were only about 60 licensed plastic surgeons in Indonesia and, on average, they performed one or two surgeries per day, enough to generate about Rp 30 million [$3,300] per day,” Teddy said. “But this year the average surgeon is carrying out three surgeries or consultations, generating upwards of Rp 50 million, each day.
“Not to mention that the number of licensed plastic surgeons has also increased, totaling 98 practitioners,” said Teddy, who runs a clinic in the state-run Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.
Rizaldi Parani, a sociology lecturer at Pelita Harapan University, explained why more and more Indonesians are willing to go under the knife.
“More Indonesians are becoming conscious of their appearance,” Rizaldi said, noting that the media were playing a role in making Indonesians want to enhance their looks.
“The number of Indonesians undergoing plastic surgeries has increased in the past five years, because the media have evolved over this period, so the two things are developing and increasing hand-in-hand.
“The growing number of commercials in broadcast and print media showing images of perfectly sculptured men and women are making people more image-concious, triggering the phenomenon,” Rizaldi said.
According to Teddy, back in 2005, there were only about 100 licensed hospitals and clinics in the country that offered aesthetic plastic surgery procedures. That total doubled to 200 by this year.
The prices of surgery procedures vary, but have remained constant over the years.
Eyelid surgery costs about Rp 10 million, while licensed surgeons charge between Rp 45 million and 60 million for a tummy tuck or breast augmentation.
Madeleine, a 24-year-old Jakartan, had her eyelids done about three years ago.
“I’m very happy with the results. The doctor’s work was very neat, and I’ve been noticing the looks that other people are giving me now, which I think are due to my improved physical appearance,” she said.
Madeleine said the operation cost her almost Rp 10 million.
“There haven’t been any negative side effects nor do I think there ever will be. No further treatments have been needed.”
She also praised her doctor’s work when compared to surgeons from other countries.
“I have a friend who had the same exact surgery done in Singapore, but the results were not as good, so Indonesian plastic surgeons who are licensed can compete with them, I think.”
Dr. Enrina Diah, a plastic surgeon at the Ultimo Clinic in Jakarta, which opened last August, agreed that the business was growing in the country.
“Our patients have doubled over the first four months of this year compared with the final four months of 2009,” she said.
“Fifteen percent [of patients] are males, and 80 percent are above 30 years of age.
“Here in Ultimo, 25 percent of our clients are foreigners,” Enrina said.