Public Release:  Consumers and plastic surgeons say economy is cutting into cosmetic procedures

New medical data: Consumers look to minimally-invasive procedures

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

CHICAGO - While history has taught us that looks matter for everyone from presidential candidates to the person next door, the economic crisis is forcing many consumers to re-evaluate their cosmetic surgery plans. The results of consumer and plastic surgeon polls are being release in conjunction with Plastic Surgery 2008, the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) at McCormick Place in Chicago October 31st through November 5th.

"It appears more consumers are choosing the less invasive cosmetic procedures, both to give them a boost or to buy time if they need to postpone a more costly invasive surgical procedure because of the economic downturn," says, Richard D'Amico, MD, ASPS president. "We have taken the economic pulse of potential patients and ASPS Member Surgeons, and the results are in."

In March, and then again in October, ASPS conducted identical economic surveys with women considering cosmetic plastic surgery within the next two years.

  • 59 percent of respondents say the economy has had an impact on their plans for cosmetic plastic surgery. That's up 9 percent from six months ago.
  • 48 percent of the survey participants are less likely to schedule a consultation appointment now compared to 30 percent six months ago.
  • 27 percent of the survey participants indicated they were considering less expensive options, compared with 20 percent six months ago.

ASPS Member Surgeons were polled and asked to compare the first six months of 2008 during the economic slowdown to the first six months of 2007. The following percentage of physicians who perform the procedures report:

Overall cosmetic procedures:

  • 62 percent report a decrease
    • Region most affected - Northeast and Southeast
    • Region least affected - Midwest

Surgical cosmetic procedures:

  • 62 percent report a decrease in breast augmentation
    • Region most affected - Southeast
    • Region least affected - West
  • 64 percent report a decrease in liposuction
    • Region most affected - Northeast
    • Region least affected - Midwest
  • 49 percent report a decrease eye-lid surgery
    • Region most affected - Northeast
    • Region least affected - Midwest
  • 44 percent report a decrease in nose reshaping
    • Region most affected - Southeast
    • Region least affected - Midwest

Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures:

  • 73 percent (almost 3 out of 4) report an increased or stable demand for procedures like Botox®, chemical peels, and hyaluronic fillers.
    • Largest increase - Northeast
    • Smallest increase - West

"It is very clear the economy is affecting the demand for surgical cosmetic procedures. We are hearing that from consumers and plastic surgeons. While all areas of the country are being negatively impacted, right now it appears the eastern part has been affected to a greater extent. The Midwest has fared a bit better. There is good news here regarding the cosmetic medicine aspect of our members' practices. And while ASPS Member Surgeons are feeling the impact of the economy, we anticipate the historic bounce when patients return as the economy improves," Dr. D'Amico says.

###

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 6,700 physician members, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Methodology: The results of the consumer survey are based on a 25 percent response rate of 400 people questioned. The results of the ASPS Member Surgeon survey are based on an 18 percent response rate of 2093 surgeons questioned. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.8 percent.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.