Aesthetic plastic surgery volume and its relation to the U.S. market indices: A 17-year retrospective analysis
Chad R. Gordon, D.O., Paul X. Benedetto, MD, Landon Pryor, MD, Ahmed Afifi, MD, Frank Papay, MD, Randall Yetman, MD, James E. Zins, MD.
The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.
PURPOSE: During the current economic downturn, there has been a significant reduction in aesthetic plastic surgery volume nationally. This led us to question the existence of a positive or negative correlation between aesthetic volume and market fluctuations. We therefore chose to investigate a possible correlation between the aesthetic volume of our large group practice and the trends of the three major U.S. stock market indices.
METHODS: We performed a chart review from January 1992 to October 2008 on patients receiving a variety of aesthetic and non-aesthetic procedures. Four aesthetic procedures were chosen, including forehead lift, rhytidectomy, breast augmentation, and liposuction. Breast reduction, breast reconstruction and carpal tunnel release served as “non-aesthetic” comparison groups. A database detailing case volume for each fiscal quarter was compared to the trends of the S&P 500, Dow Jones (DJIA), and Nasdaq (NASD) indices. Pearson correlation statistical analysis was used to evaluate the relationship between the indices and our surgical volume. A p-value <0.05 was considered significant.
RESULTS: A total of 7360 patients were included, with 4349 aesthetic patients accounting for 5102 procedures. The non-aesthetic comparison group included 3011 patients, accounting for 3103 procedures. The average aesthetic patient’s age was 44 (±13.7), with an average annual household income of $61,151 (±16,776, range=$17,958-889,783) [Income levels for specific operations will be presented]. All four aesthetic procedures had a positive correlation and at least one statistically-significant relationship to a market index trend. Rhytidectomy (n=1540), liposuction (n=1291), and breast augmentation (n=1959) were all statistically-significant when compared to all three major indices. In contrast, forehead lift (n=312) was only statistically-significant in correlation with the NASD (p=0.021), and not with the S&P (p=0.077) or DJIA (p=0.12). Interestingly, breast reduction (n=1063) and reconstruction (n=205) also show a statistically-significant correlation to two market index trends. Finally, carpal tunnel release had a negative correlation to all three market indices.
CONCLUSION: Our data documents both a positive correlation and statistically-significant relationship between four aesthetic and two non-aesthetic plastic surgery procedures and the market index trends. If this preliminary data could be substantiated, it may be possible that such information could be utilized by aesthetic practices for budgetary personnel planning and as a predictor of future surgical volume. Plans are to investigate the correlation of national surgery volumes to these market indices.