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Economic Analysis of the Future Growth of Cosmetic Surgery Procedures

Liu, Tom S. M.D., M.B.A.; Miller, Timothy A. M.D.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: June 2008 - Volume 121 - Issue 6 - pp 404e-412e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318170818d
Cosmetic: Original Articles

Background: The economic growth of cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures has been tremendous. Between 1992 and 2005, annual U.S. cosmetic surgery volume increased by 725 percent, with over $10 billion spent in 2005. It is unknown whether this growth will continue for the next decade and, if so, what impact it will it have on the plastic surgeon workforce.

Methods: The authors analyzed annual U.S. cosmetic surgery procedure volume reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics between 1992 and 2005. Reconstructive plastic surgery volume was not included in the analysis. The authors analyzed the ability of economic and noneconomic variables to predict annual cosmetic surgery volume. The authors also used growth rate analyses to construct models with which to predict the future growth of cosmetic surgery.

Results: None of the economic and noneconomic variables were a significant predictor of annual cosmetic surgery volume. Instead, based on current compound annual growth rates, the authors predict that total cosmetic surgery volume (surgical and nonsurgical) will exceed 55 million annual procedures by 2015. ASPS members are projected to perform 299 surgical and 2165 nonsurgical annual procedures. Non-ASPS members are projected to perform 39 surgical and 1448 nonsurgical annual procedures.

Conclusions: If current growth rates continue into the next decade, the future demand in cosmetic surgery will be driven largely by nonsurgical procedures. The growth of surgical procedures will be met by ASPS members. However, meeting the projected growth in nonsurgical procedures could be a potential challenge and a potential area for increased competition.

Los Angeles, Calif.

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.

Received for publication May 12, 2007; accepted September 18, 2007.

Disclosure: There is no financial interest associated with this work by any of the authors.

Tom S. Liu, M.D., M.B.A., Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, 200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Suite 465, Los Angeles, Calif. 90095, tomliumd@ucla.edu

©2008American Society of Plastic Surgeons