America The Beautiful: We Dream Of Tummy Tucks.S

While plastic surgeons may declare confidently that the demand for their services is climbing again, the New York Times reports that the numbers tell a different story:

Says the article,

nose jobs, eyelid surgeries, liposuction, tummy tucks and breast augmentations fell in number by nearly 9 percent in 2009, the society reported Tuesday, to 1,521,409 from 1,669,026 in 2008. Nose jobs and eyelid surgery fell 8 percent among the 715 doctors who answered the survey, while liposuction was down a whopping 19 percent. Tummy tucks and breast augmentations declined 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

While other surveys have put the decline in these popular surgeries as high as 18%, some plastic surgeons - both those cited in the Washington Post's piece on the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery's convention, and in this article - feel that the numbers (to say nothing of the flesh) are actually rebounding as financial worries recede. Some, said one San Diego plastic surgeon quoted in the Times, "opted to have fillers or Botox because they felt - and it was marketed to them - it would be in lieu of a face-lift...it didn't give the result they wanted." In other words, now that they've tried cheaping out, those eager for insta-rejuvenation will accept no substitutes and find that an expensive jot of poison is a mere band-aid, as it were, no match for the slightly longer-lived benefits of a really expensive nip-and-tuck. Others maybe just got a taste, with Botox or "fillers" as a gateway drug, and having experienced the miracle, want the real deal.

Botox use was actually down 4% - which means the brows of 2009 saw a mere 4,795,357 injections, "at $405 each on average." And don't get too excited for the natural aging's comeback: while money may have been short and Real Housewives of Orange County cautionary, our dreams were only growing. Quoth the Times, "Sixty-nine percent of the nationwide sample of 2,148 adults who were asked in March said that they would choose to have cosmetic work, up from 54 percent who said the same thing in November 2009." We can see why the doctors are still smiling - although, given their apparent allegiance to their own products, now's probably the time to insert a Botox joke.

Cosmetic Surgeries Get A Little Nip And Tuck
[New York Times]