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The Relationship of Aesthetic Procedure Volume and the US Economy: A National Study
Arvind U. Gowda, M.D.1, Kashyap Komarraju Tadisina, M.D.2, Rory Carroll, B.S.1, Karan Chopra, M.D.3.
1University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA, 2St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA, 3John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Purpose:
Aesthetic procedure volumes have seen an 82% increase in surgical procedures and a 508% increase in non-surgical procedures since 1997.(1) Although it is frequently assumed there is a correlation between economic prosperity and the demand for aesthetic procedures, the relationship remains unclear, particularly at a national level. This study aims to identify macroeconomic trends relevant to plastic surgery practice management.
Methods:
Procedure volume was abstracted from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s comprehensive databank of cosmetic surgery for the years 1997-2014.(1) Economic data was abstracted from publically available Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P) information. Pearson correlations were used to measure relationships between the S&P 500 market index monthly/annual closing averages and aesthetic procedure volume data.
Results:
15 surgical and 10 non-surgical procedures from the database fit study criteria (Tables 1). Both total surgical and total non-surgical procedure volume significantly correlated with S&P 500 performance(r=.68, p=.002 and r=.73, p<.001 respectively). 66%(10/15) individual surgical procedures showed correlation to S&P performance. Conversely, only 30% (3/10) of individual non-surgical procedures correlated with the S&P 500.
Conclusion
The present work reveals a positive correlation between the economy and aesthetic procedure volume. Plastic surgeons should complement their traditional surgical practices with the adoption of non-surgical interventions in order to minimize the effect of economic variability on their practice, and remain competitive in the ever-changing economic environment.(2)


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