Cosmetic Surgery Took a Big Hit During the Recession

Each year around this time, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery releases its member’s statistics. Last year 1 ½ million people went under the knife and 8 ½ million became prettier with needles and peels. The most popular surgery? Breast augmentation and liposuction, followed by eyelid lifts, nose reshaping and tummy tucks. But by far, the most popular procedure was Botox. Over 2 ½ million people purposely injected this into their bodies last year in an attempt to smooth wrinkles. And another 1.3 million people injected Restylane or Juvederm into their wrinkles. And 1.3 million hairy people zapped it off with laser hair removal.

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

Each year around this time, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery releases its member’s statistics.  Last year 1 ½ million people went under the knife and 8 ½ million became prettier with needles and peels.  The most popular surgery?  Breast augmentation and liposuction, followed by eyelid lifts, nose reshaping and tummy tucks.  But by far, the most popular procedure was Botox.  Over 2 ½ million people purposely injected this into their bodies last year in an attempt to smooth wrinkles.  And another 1.3 million people injected Restylane or Juvederm into their wrinkles.  And 1.3 million hairy people zapped it off with laser hair removal.

Despite what the media says, over 90% of cosmetic surgery patients are women.  Did the recession hurt?  You bet it did – big ticket items like surgery were down 17%, although nonsurgical procedures were unchanged from the year before.

But how about the procedures that are losing popularity? Hair transplants are fading away, just like the hair that was transplanted. And cheek implants are almost gone – there were less than 2,000 done in the whole country last year.  Browlifts, chin implants, and collagen are also declining in popularity.

There’s good reason for all this.  Cheek implants are a bizarre concept and are rarely needed. Hair transplants often look bad at first and worsen time.  Collagen has been replaced by better fillers, and few people really need their brows lifted onto their foreheads. And how about today’s most popular procedures?  Ten years from now, they might also be called dinosaurs, as they are replaced by better, less invasive, and safer procedures.

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...