According to a survey of 928 board-certified physicians by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, a group of plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic surgery, cosmetic enhancement procedures in the United States plunged for the second year in a row in 2009. Blaming it on the sagging economy, the board revealed a 2% decline in the number of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed in the US in 2009.
“Plastic surgery is feeling the effects of the recession, just like many other sectors of the marketplace,” Dr. Renato Saltz, president of the society, said in a news statement released Tuesday. “However, repeat patients and those putting off surgery are likely the reason for the small growth in non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Growth in demand will return as the recession eases and baby boomers’ offspring begin to explore surgical options.”
In the recent years, plastic surgery has witnessed a boom, as more and more people grew conscious about their appearance and went under the knife to fix a perceived flaw. By doing so, they not only enhanced their physical appeal but also their pepped up their self-esteem. In 2008, men and women between the ages of 35 and 50 underwent nearly 4.4 million appearance enhancement procedures. Breast augmentation was the most popular surgical procedure, with almost 312,000 such operations performed followed by liposuction (nearly 284,000 operations); eyelid surgery (about 150,000 procedures); abdominoplasty (close to 128,000); and facelifts (more than 94,000).
Dr. Haeck, a plastic surgeon in Seattle, said that he sees a shift from last year’s trend, when consumers cited cost as a primary hurdle. This year, “job priority is number one, cosmetic surgery is number two,” he said.