Cosmetic surgery rebound: bra sizes grow along with the economy

breast augmentation

Cosmetic surgery procedures are increasing as the economy improves, with breast augmentation leading the way. Image:; CC Tomas Fano/Flickr

Cosmetic surgery has emerged as a key economic indicator. As the economy grows, so does the rate of breast augmentations, tummy tucks and nose jobs. An industry report released Thursday said elective cosmetic surgery procedures were up 5 percent in 2010, the first increase since the recession began.

Business booming for cosmetic surgeons

The U.S. economic recovery is gathering steam, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. As other key economic indicators such as Gross Domestic Product and consumer confidence inch upward, so has the number of nips and tucks. ASPS recorded 13.1 million cosmetic surgery procedures in 2010, a 5 percent increase from 2009. Cosmetic surgeons are excited over the news, but the recession didn’t exactly put them in the poorhouse. From 2008 through 2009, spending on cosmetic surgery passed $10 billion even though it dropped 3 percent. However, the uptick in elective surgeries has investors hopeful that the American custom to borrow money for big-ticket items is on the rebound.

Spending on cosmetic surgery

Breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic surgery in 2010. Nearly 300,000 women put anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 on their credit cards for the procedure. Nose jobs came in a close second at more than 250,000 procedures costing between $3,000 and $8,000, depending on the scope of work. About 209,000 eyelid surgeries were performed costing an average of $4,100. Liposuctions costing up to $7,500 (203,000) and tummy tucks running about $8,500 (116,000) also increased. Face lifts took a beating during the recession but rose 9 percent in 2010 with approximately 113,000 procedures costing from $6,000 to $15,000.

Consumers draw the line on Botox injections

Cosmetic surgeons are no doubt pleased that Botox appears to be recession-proof. After holding steady in the downturn, Botox injections also increased by 5 percent in 2010. Botulinum toxin type A was the most in-demand Botox injection with 5. 4 million procedures in 2010. Americans may be willing to pass on bigger breasts and smaller noses during hard times, but giving up a $500 Botox injection twice a year is apparently out of the question.


ABC News


U.S. News and World Report

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