Just a couple of comments on the recent stats published by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Full report is available at http://www.surgery.org/press/statistics-2008.php. There is also a good post at the Aesthetic Medicine News.

The report reaffirms our opinion that in tough economic times, small aesthetic luxuries are still in demand. ASAPS’ report, 2008 Statistics on Cosmetic Surgery, outlines that 8,491,861 non-surgical procedures were done in 2008. This is a reduction of 11.7% over 2007, and interestingly the only three growth non-surgical procedures were Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiance) injections (up 3%), chemical peels (up 2.9%) and laser skin resurfacing which had increased by 12%.

Another important conclusion in the report: many of the non-invasive non-surgical treatments are being preformed by professionals outside the membership of the ASAPS. The public can now get many of these procedures in medical spas and physicians’ offices, i.e. not in operating rooms.

“However, it is clear that the economy is having an impact on the aesthetic medicine industry: its the “Lipstick Effect” in Aesthetic Medicine, a phrase coined by Leonard Lauder, Chairman of Estee Lauder, who saw a huge jump in lipstick sales after September 11th. During times of economic uncertainty, consumers load up on affordable luxuries as a substitute for more expensive items. For physicians in Aesthetic Medicine, the lipstick effect manifests itself in patients choosing laser lipolysis over surgical liposuction or dermal fillers over face lifts.”

Aesthetic non-invasive medical offerings represent the perfect storm between the current economy, medicine and profitability. Dr. Jason Pozner’s comments support this assertion. “Patients aged 35-50 continue to dominate [the cosmetic surgery market], having 45% of the cosmetic procedures, and most commonly getting liposuction and Botox. After the age of 51, the top procedures were blepharoplasty and Botox (32% of the total patient population). For the 19-34 set, the top procedures were breast augmentation and laser hair removal, and for everyone below 18, it was rhinoplasty and laser hair removal.” Even within cosmetic surgery practices, non-invasive procedures are more than competitive in all segments with cosmetic surgery offerings.

LaserOffers.com comment

Regardless of the economic outlook, the top five non-surgical procedures, as reported by the ASAPS for 2008:

  • Botox
  • laser hair removal
  • hyaluronic acid dermal fillers
  • chemical peels, and
  • laser skin resurfacing

These are the treatments that will continue to offer physicians in aesthetic medicine the best options for profitability in 2009.