2009 Was a Tough Year for Plastic Surgeons

2009 was a tough year for many Americans. And plastic surgeons were no exception. The recession whittled away at their incomes last year, continuing a 20 % decline in over the last 2 years. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, when we consider the more expensive surgical procedures, the numbers are even more depressing – most of the decline has been here, with less expensive procedures like botox and wrinkle fillers holding their own.

Posted on | Arthur Perry, MD, FACS | Comments ()

2009 was a tough year for many Americans. And plastic surgeons were no exception. The recession whittled away at their incomes last year, continuing a 20 % decline in over the last 2 years. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, when we consider the more expensive surgical procedures, the numbers are even more depressing – most of the decline has been here, with less expensive procedures like botox and wrinkle fillers holding their own.

And leading the way as the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures? 312,000 women had breast augmentations last year. And 284,000 had liposuction. But those numbers are dwarfed by the 2.6 million people who had botox, and the 1.3 million people who had their wrinkles filled.

Plastic surgeons are expecting a huge boost in procedures as soon as the economy recovers. Because the only thing that is as certain as taxes, is the development of wrinkles.

But everyone knows about those plastic surgery procedures that are wildly popular. But there are a lot of procedures that are losing popularity, even going extinct.

Way back in 1997, hair transplants were very popular – 61,000 people underwent the procedure – but last year only 18,000 people in the entire country purchased those plugs. Cheek implants are almost extinct – the 1,700 people last year was a far cry from the 11,000 in 1997. And chin implants, eyelid lifts, browlifts, collagen injections, dermabrasion and ear setback surgery are all decreasing in popularity.

Why is this happening? Collagen has been replaced by better wrinkle fillers, like Restylane and Radiesse. Cheek implants just look funny in most people, other than those aliens in Star Trek. And hair transplants? Well how many good ones have you seen?

Blog written by Arthur Perry, MD, FACS
Dr. Perry has over 2 decades of experience as a clinical surgeon and has been named to the “Best Doctors in the NY Area” book...