Public Release:  Recession cuts many, not all plastic surgery procedures

Smallest year-over-year growth on record for cosmetic procedures

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Showing sensitivity to weaknesses in the U.S. economy, plastic surgery was not spared from the recession's grasp. According to the newest national procedural statistics report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), in 2008, doctors performed over 12 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures - encompassing both surgical and minimally-invasive procedures. Surgical numbers dropped nine percent and minimally-invasive numbers rose five percent. Nearly 5 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed, slightly more than the previous year.

"Like most sectors, plastic surgery is feeling the effects of the economic downturn," said John Canady, MD, ASPS president. "However, repeat patients and those putting off surgery, likely sustained demand for some minimally-invasive procedures. Growth in demand will likely return as the recession eases and baby boomer's offspring begin to explore surgical options."

The following are the top-line 2008 National Plastic Surgery Statistics:

  • 12 million total cosmetic plastic surgery procedures; up three percent versus 2007
  • 1.7 million surgical cosmetic procedures; down nine percent versus 2007
  • Top 5: Breast augmentation (307,000; 12 percent decline), Nose reshaping (279,000; two percent decline), Liposuction (245,000; 19 percent decline), Eyelid surgery (221,000; eight percent decline), Tummy tuck (122,000; 18 percent decline)
  • 10.4 million minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures; up five percent versus 2007
  • Top 5: Botox (5 million; eight percent increase), hyaluronic acid fillers (1.1 million; six percent increase), chemical peel (1 million; two percent increase), laser hair removal (892,000; two percent decline), microdermabrasion (842,000; six percent decline)
  • 4.9 million reconstructive procedures; up three percent versus 2007
  • Top 5: Tumor removal (3.8 million; five percent increase), laceration repair (307,000; seven percent increase), scar revision (163,000; eight percent increase), hand surgery (100,000; 13 percent increase), breast reduction (89,000; 16 percent decrease)

"Although many obstacles remain in patients acquiring insurance coverage for reconstructive procedures, it is promising to see, for the first time in several years, a gain in reconstructive plastic surgery procedures," said Dr. Canady.

ASPS procedural statistics are collected through the first online national database for plastic surgery procedures, Tracking Operations and Outcomes for Plastic Surgeons (TOPS). This data, combined with the annual survey sent to American Board of Medical Specialties certified physicians most likely to perform these procedures, results in the most comprehensive census on plastic surgery.


To view more of the entire 2008 National Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, visit the ASPS web site, Visitors can also find information on procedures and referrals to ASPS Member Surgeons.

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.

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