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"Plastic Surgery Indicator" Shows Economy is Rebounding

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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the recession is over. Or, if not quite over over, at least it's on the right track.

"The economy is showing signs of improvement and, financially, things are a little better for people this year," says ASPS President Phillip Haeck, MD. "The financial markets are at a two year high, we're seeing a double digit increase in the percentage of auto sales over a year ago, and as the aging population continues to grow, people are investing in plastic surgery procedures to help stay competitive in the workplace. The growth in cosmetic plastic surgery procedures is multi-factorial."

A statement released this week by the organization reads:

"Interestingly, in what might be viewed as a trend toward more than minimally-invasive procedures, facelifts rose 9 percent in 2010, with nearly 113,000 procedures. Facelifts have not experienced growth since 2007. Breast augmentations increased 2 percent, with silicone implants being used in 60 percent of all breast augmentations. All surgical body contouring procedures, i.e., breast lifts (90,000 procedures, up 3 percent), lower body lifts (10,000 procedures, up 9 percent), upper arm lifts (15,000 procedures, up 5 percent), and thigh lifts (9,000 procedures, up 8 percent), experienced growth in 2010. A substantial amount of those procedures are being requested following massive weight loss.

Haeck says:

There's some pent up demand for cosmetic surgical procedures. People have waited a couple of years or more to have procedures, until their finances were at least somewhat back in order. But, all indications are, more consumers are again willing to spend more to look better.

Overall, cosmetic surgical procedures increased 2%, with nearly 1.6 million procedures performed last year.

The top five:

• Breast augmentation (296,000)
• Nose reshaping (252,000)
• Eyelid surgery (209,000)
• Liposuction (203,000)
• Tummy tuck (116,000)

As for what this means for the broader economy, we'll have to see. Of course, this may now mean that the burden of propping up the entire cosmetic surgery industry industry won't rest on just a few well-sculpted shoulders now...


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