Cosmetic Procedures Rebound” Reports Wall Street Journal | Plastic surgery procedures

Michael A. Persky, MD
Article by
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

We are often asked, “So how is the plastic surgery business?”. Stephanie Gleason, in her statistically packed April 5, 2011 Wall Street Journal article gave her answer to the question. She begins, “More than 1.6 million Americans underwent the knife for beauty in 2010.” Plastic surgery procedures were up 9% from 2009. Not surprisingly, the increase of plastic surgery procedures is an excellent tracker of the reviving economy. A 2009 Cleveland Clinic study showed a distinct correlation between plastic surgery procedures and trends in the Standard and Poor 500 Index, the Dow-Jones average, and the NASDAQ index.

Americans spent $6.6 Billion on aesthetic surgery procedures last year. The five most popular surgeries were (in order of popularity) breast augmentation (especially noticeable if you have been to Las Vegas recently, where it seems that gravity must be much weaker that other locales if you just go by the appearance and gravity defying position of women’s breasts), liposuction, eye lid surgery, tummy tuck, and fittingly enough, “topping” out the top five surgeries, breast reduction.

$1.2 billion was spent on breast augmentation alone. Though liposuction was the second most popular operation, it is 37% down since it’s high in 2007. Facelifts were up 35% from 2009, Americans spending $845 million on lifting those jowls, necks, and faces. Facelift was the second most expensive surgery with surgeon’s average fees of $6,600. Lower body lift was the most expensive treatment at $7,904.

The 1.6 million procedures in 2010 is down from the peak of 2.1 million nip/tucks in 2005. Females comprised 91% of cosmetic surgery patients. There were fewer male patients operated on in 2010 than in 1997. There has been an increase in male non-invasive treatments such as Botox, Dysport, laser hair removal, and laser skin rejuvenation. Men made up 8% of patients having non-invasive treatments, up seven times from 1997.

The actual number of estimated cosmetic procedures is thought to be underestimated due the survey including only board certified physicians and surgeons. As you probably have noticed, in addition to nurses and physicians assistants performing treatments, it seems like everyone but your gas station attendant is injecting fillers and Botox.

Botox and Dysport are the most popular aesthetic procedure with a reported 2.4 million treatments of the 7.7 million total non-surgical procedures.

Both male and female attitudes toward plastic surgery are declining. In 1997, 57% of women and 58% of men approved of plastic surgery. After what the economy has gone through the past few years, it is not surprising that in 2010 men’s approval of plastic surgery (likely husband’s trying to make end’s meet) dropped significantly to 49% while women’s approval dropped a little to 53%.


Whew! That’s a lot of statistics! Just remember, 83% of statistics are made up on the spot! Be well.

Dr Michael Persky is located in Encino, California but services all of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Including, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Malibu, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Westlake, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and more