Cosmetic Procedures Down 12% in 2008

People Delaying Cosmetic Procedures Because of Sagging Economy, Expert Says

From the WebMD Archives

March 16, 2009 -- Americans cut back on plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures last year, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

The ASAPS today released its 2008 statistics, which show a decrease of 12% in the number of surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S. last year.

The reason for the downturn? "It's clearly the economy, and people's concerns about their future income, their time off from work to have a procedure, and recovery from that," ASAPS President Alan Gold, MD, tells WebMD.

Gold says he expects that when the economy recovers, cosmetic procedures will spike as people get the procedures they've been delaying.

"Maybe not this year -- it might be next year," Gold says.

Gold also notes that older workers may have to stay in the job market longer, and they may turn to cosmetic procedures to enhance their prospects. "They want to be able to compete without the ageism bias and therefore want to look younger," he says.

Top Surgical Cosmetic Procedures

Liposuction is no longer the most common cosmetic surgery in the U.S.; breast augmentation has taken its place in the top spot, the new ASAPS statistic show.

Both procedures decreased from 2007 to 2008, and when all was said and done, more people got breast augmentation than liposuction in 2008.

Here is the list of the top cosmetic surgical procedures for 2008:

  1. Breast augmentation: 355,671 procedures in 2008, down 11% from 2007
  2. Liposuction: 341,144 procedures in 2008, down 25% from 2007
  3. Eyelid surgery: 195,104 procedures in 2008, down 19% from 2007
  4. Nose reshaping (rhinoplasty): 152,434 procedures in 2008, about the same as in 2007
  5. Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty): 147,392 procedures in 2008, down 20% from 2007

Why was rhinoplasty the lone surgical procedure not to lose ground last year? Gold speculates that perhaps parents deferred spending on themselves to afford rhinoplasty that they had promised to their teen or young adult child.

Top Nonsurgical Cosmetic Procedures

Here are the top five nonsurgical cosmetic procedures for 2008:

  1. Botox injection: 2.46 million procedures in 2008, down 11% from 2007
  2. Laser hair removal: 1.28 million procedures in 2008, down 9% from 2007
  3. Hyaluronic acid (including Hylaform, Juvederm, and Perlane/Restylane) 1.26 million procedures in 2008, down 13% from 2007
  4. Chemical peel: 591,808 procedures in 2008, up 3% from 2007
  5. Laser skin resurfacing: 570,880 procedures in 2008, up 12% from 2007

WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on March 16, 2009



American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Alan Gold, MD, president, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

© 2009 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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