New Statistics Confirm Cosmetic Surgery Is a Leading Economic Indicator

New Statistics Confirm Cosmetic Surgery Is a Leading Economic Indicator

150 150 Rob Lovitt

2012 Annual Statistics infographicWhat do home sales, car sales and cosmetic surgery procedures have in common?

According to new statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), all experienced respectable growth last year. Cosmetic surgeries in the U.S., in fact, were up 5% over the year before, hitting an all-time high of 14.6 million procedures.

That, along with increasing car sales (up 13%) and home sales (up 9.2%), suggests people are feeling more confident about their financial situation and, therefore, more willing to spend money again — good news for a field of practice that relies more on discretionary income than insurance reimbursement.

What’s driving the trend? Minimally invasive procedures, especially those involving the face, which rose 6% last year to just over 13 million procedures. Botox/Dysport were up 8%, hyaluronic acids were up 5% and chemical peels were up 2%.

As people want to improve facial appearance with less down time, these minimally-invasive procedures really fit the bill, says David B. Reath, M.D., of Knoxville, Tenn. And, as experienced injectors are gaining more sophisticated expertise with fillers, newer uses and applications are being developed.

Surgical procedures, on the other hand, declined by 2% last year, to just under 1.6 million procedures. Among the top 5 procedures, facelifts and eyelid surgeries were up — 6% and 4%,respectively — while breast augmentations and liposuction were down 7% and 1%. (Nose reshaping was unchanged.)

Yet, even with the decline in surgical procedures, ASPS President Gregory Evans, M.D. is optimistic about the future as the American population ages and people who opt for peels and fillers now become more committed aesthetic consumers in the future:

Patients who begin with less invasive treatments with a plastic surgeon may opt for more invasive, surgical procedures once required.

For a complete breakdown of the 2012 statistics visit the news section of the ASPS website.

Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including, and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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