The following article was featured in the Miami Herald, authored by Fred Tasker.
In better economic times, some in search of youth and beauty thought nothing of plunking down four figures for a cosmetic procedure. These days, tummy tucks are on sale. What’s more, recent figures from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery say the number of cosmetic procedures in the U.S. – from eyelid lifts to liposuction – fell by 17 percent from 2008 to 2009.
“It’s the economy. People don’t have the disposable income,” said a Miami plastic surgeon.
Doctors say people are not giving up the desire to look better. They’re just trying to do it on the cheap. Many face a double whammy. They can’t afford plastic surgery in today’s economy, but they feel even greater pressure to look fit and youthful to compete in a more-competitive job market. So they’re opting for what doctors call “tide-you-over” procedures.
Doctors say 30-to-50ish women and men are putting off $8,000 face-lifts and opting for $400 Botox injections.
“A lot of people say they want to come back for surgery after the economy turns around,” said Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Zaydon Jr. “Right now they want methods that will let them go out and keep interviewing.”
In fact, last year’s 17 percent drop was in expensive plastic surgeries such as face-lifts. Less-expensive nonsurgical cosmetic procedures like chemical peels and fat injections were actually up a bit.
Even some patients who can afford plastic surgery are holding off because they don’t dare take time off work for fear of losing their jobs, Zaydon said.
“People feel guilty if they take vacation time,” he said. “It can take two weeks or more to get back to work after a face-lift.”
They can go back the next day after Botox injections to smooth frown lines. For similar reasons, some men are putting off $5,000 hair transplants for $49.95 bottles of Rogaine. Hair transplants dropped nearly 2 percent between 2006 and 2008, according to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons. But hair is still important to men, said Dr. Bernard Nusbaum, a Coral Gables transplant surgeon.
“Especially in this job market, a youthful appearance is important. People want to be more competitive.”
One non-economic reason that cosmetic procedures are down might be the dwindling number of plastic-surgery-themed TV shows. Reality shows Extreme Makeover, The Swan and Miami Clice have all been off the air for several years, and the final episode of the F/X drama Nip/Tuck aired earlier this month.
Did the shows encourage people to get plastic surgery?
“They absolutely did”, [said another local plastic surgeon]. “They gave people an idea of what goes on in surgery. They made it look not as bad as they had thought.”
Read more about Dr. Zaydon – Miami expert witness plastic surgeon
Plastic Surgery Institute founder, Dr. Thomas J. Zaydon, M.D. F.A.C.S, has been rendering professional expert witness and plastic surgery services in the Miami, Florida area for over twenty years. In addition to face lifts and other cosmetic procedures, he specializes in working as a workers compensation plastic surgeon, including plastic surgery for scars. Dr. Zaydon is also certified as an Expert Medical Advisor and often serves as an expert witness plastic surgeon. Read more about Dr. Zaydon or Contact Us.
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