Statistics from The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) show that the number of individuals having such treatments increased by 5 percent in 2008 to reach 10.4 million.
The figures show that the economic downturn is having an effect on the type of cosmetic procedure, with patients opting for non-invasive treatments that are less expensive and more convenient to carry out.
Plastic surgeons carried out a total of 12 million procedures in the US during 2008, a figure showing the number of people having invasive cosmetic procedures fell by 9 percent to reach 1.7 million.
Drastic procedures lose edge
Such invasive treatments include breast augmentation, eyelid surgery and nose reshaping. However, instead of these pricier solutions, individuals are going for chemical peels and Botox.
Indeed, the number of Botox procedures increased by 8 percent in 2008, to reach 5 million, while the number of hyaluronic filler procedures increased by 6 percent to 1.1 million and chemical peels increased by 2 percent to 1 million.
The number of procedures for both laser hair removal and microdermabrasion slipped slightly, reflecting the fact that the treatments can be expensive and that microdermabrasion in particular seems to have been eclipsed by Botox.
Feeling the effects of the downturn
“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.”
The segment is mainly driven by the baby boomer group, which has enjoyed unprecedented levels of wealth and spending power in recent years, but has likewise been impacted by the economic downturn.
A recent report by the Focalyst Group, describes baby boomer spending power as having hit a ‘brick wall’ in 2008, with diminishing returns on investments and the less than rosy outlook forcing many to cut back on spending.
However, this factor has had a positive impact on non-invasive cosmetics procedures, which some industry observers believe to be part of a more global trend away from more radical treatments.