Weak economy puts pinch on plastic surgeons

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.
http://www.plasticsurgery.org

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