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Risks and Opportunities for Plastic Surgeons in a Widening Cosmetic Medicine Market: Future Demand, Consumer Preferences, and Trends in Practitioners’ Services

D’Amico, Richard A. M.D.; Saltz, Renato M.D.; Rohrich, Rod J. M.D.; Kinney, Brian M.D.; Haeck, Phillip M.D.; Gold, Alan H. M.D.; Singer, Robert M.D.; Jewell, Mark L. M.D., P.C.; Eaves, Felmont III M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2008 - Volume 121 - Issue 5 - p 1787-1792
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31816c3c49
Cosmetic: Special Topic

Background: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery launched a joint Cosmetic Medicine Task Force to address the growing trend of non–plastic surgeons entering the cosmetic medicine field. The task force commissioned two surveys in 2007 to determine consumer attitudes about choosing cosmetic medicine providers and to learn about the cosmetic services that plastic surgeons offer.

Methods: The first survey obtained responses from 1015 women who had undergone a cosmetic procedure or were considering having one within 2 years. The second survey obtained responses from 260 members of the two societies.

Results: Compared with other practitioners, plastic surgeons enjoy higher rates of satisfaction among their patients who undergo noninvasive procedures. Injectables present a particularly promising market for plastic surgeons. Half of consumers surveyed said they were very concerned about complications associated with injectables, and generally, the higher the perceived risk of the procedure, the higher the likelihood that a patient would choose a plastic surgeon to perform it. In addition, injectables were among the noninvasive treatments most frequently being considered by consumers. However, almost half of consumers said that if they had a positive experience with a non–plastic surgeon core provider for a noninvasive procedure, that physician would likely be their first choice for a surgical procedure.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that plastic surgeons, and especially those who are building young practices, must expand their offerings of nonsurgical cosmetic services to remain at the core of the cosmetic medicine field.

Englewood, N.J.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles and La Jolla, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Great Neck, N.Y.; Eugene, Ore.; and Charlotte, N.C.

From the Plastic Surgery Skin Care Center; Image Reborn Foundation of Utah; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; University of California–Los Angeles and University of Southern California; The Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Oregon Health Science University; and private practice.

Received for publication November 20, 2007; accepted January 25, 2008.

Disclosures: None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products, devices, or drugs mentioned in this article, and no author received financial compensation for writing this study. Mark L. Jewell, M.D., P.C., serves as a consultant to Allergan.

Renato Saltz, M.D., Saltz Plastic Surgery & Spa Vitória, 5445 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117,

©2008American Society of Plastic Surgeons