Despite being more affiliated with the conservative nature of Mormon religion than the blatant silicon endowments of communities like L.A. or Miami, Salt Lake City continues to be a hub for plastic surgery. The number of cosmetic surgeons in the city even led Forbes to dub it the vainest city in the U.S. in 2007. While that label might be a bit overwhelming to the residing population, the fact remains that there is a higher number of plastic surgeons per capita that any of the top 50 cities in the U.S., with six plastic surgeons for every 100,000 people. New York City has four and Miami 5.2.
So why so many plastic surgeons in Salt Lake City? It’s estimated that about 60 percent of those living in Utah are Mormons, which are well known for generally get married and starting families at a comparatively young age, which means they also stop having children at a comparably younger age. With childbirth and the associated tolls it takes on a woman’s body combining with a tight social network of stay-at-home moms wanting to keep up with everyone else, a built-in customer base for “mommy makeovers” has been created.
A great proportion of plastic surgery in Utah is breast and body contouring surgery. Generally a “mommy makeover” includes various combinations of a breast lift, breast augmentation, tummy tuck and liposuction. These are relatively conservative women who just want their bodies back, but another reason could be the cost.
When compared to the rest of the U.S., it’s much cheaper in Salt Lake City to get these types of surguries. For example, the cost of a tummy tuck is around $5,000, as compared to $15,000 in other places. The cost of breast augmentation is around $4,000 as compared to over $6,000 in many other states. This has created a somewhat unique form of medical tourism to the region.