The recession has affected plastic surgery in interesting ways, if we’re to believe recent news reports. In a study published in March in the New York Times, it was revealed that Americans are cutting back on cosmetic surgery–but mostly because of women, not men. and it’s not just because of the lack of extra money to spend, but the tightening credit market and drop in the value of real estate are all taking a toll, making it more difficult for people to finance their bodily improvements.
The Times report, originating with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, showed that from 2008 to 09, cosmetic surgeries for women dropped 18%, but a mere 3% for men. Furthermore, non-surgical procedures such as Botox and laser-skin treatment actually increased 11% for men, while holding flat for women.
This gender difference is most pronounced with those procedures that women and men have in common, such as tummy tucks, nose jobs and liposuction.
The good news, though,, is that, compared to the mid 1990s, plastic surgery is still a healthier, growing medical field. In fact, it is up 50% since ’97, with non-surgical procedures up an amazing 230%. And, the recession notwithstanding, females still account for about 90% of all plastic surgery, with breast augmentation being the number-one selected procedure.
So why the disparity between men and women during a recession? Probably because when men decide to get plastic surgery, it is considered more of a necessity, whereas women treat it as more of an elective procedure that they would like, but if need be, they can put off for a few months.
So why should you care about whether plastic surgery is a growing or dying medical practice? For one very good reason. The fact that so many more people are getting cosmetic or reconstructive surgery today means that the field is getting more attractive to those in medical school. And when that happens, the field gets competitive–and the cream rises to the top. Bottom line: a burgeoning plastic-surgery field raises the quality of those performing the surgeries.
So if you think that plastic surgery might be in your future, say in a year or two, then you need to support plastic surgery as an attractive field choice. Because you just might be supporting the person who will be doing your facelift or labiaplasty.