A recent decline in Americans undergoing cosmetic surgery and treatments appears to have been triggered by the recession rather than a wholesale change in attitudes toward plastic surgery, according to new survey data released Tuesday by Harris Interactive and Realself.com.
According to the survey of 2,148 adults,, consumer interest in cosmetic procedures is up in many cases. More than two-thirds (69%) would choose to have cosmetic work done if money wasn’t an issue, up 15 points from an earlier survey done in November 2009 (in which the figure was 54%), signaling interest among consumers is climbing.
Additionally, the desire for invasive plastic surgery procedures, many of which require substantial recovery time, suggests people want big changes, not just minor nips and tucks. Of those who would get cosmetic work done, almost one in three (29%) would choose a tummy tuck, 23% would want liposuction, and 13% would opt for a facelift.
Tummy tucks are most popular among women aged 35 to 44 –- 46% would choose to tone their midsection if money wasn’t an issue, compared to 34% of women 18 to 34. More than one-third (34%) of women aged 35 to 44 would undergo a breast lift, and 28% would opt for liposuction. Among men 35 to 44 — 29% say they would undergo liposuction to remove excess fat.
Injection-based procedures such as Botox and wrinkle fillers are up 99% since 2000. Among women over 55, of those who would choose cosmetic work if money wasn’t an option, one-third would opt for wrinkle filler and 14% would choose Botox. More than one-third of women (36%) and 11% percent) of men would choose a facelift in an effort to retain their youth. Yet, among men aged 35 to 44, interest is also high as 16% would choose a facelift if money wasn’t an option, compared to just 6% of men 45 to 54.
The survey also looked at which treatments people planned to undergo within the next 12 months, providing insight into what types of procedures will be popular in the months ahead. More than half of people (50 percent) who are planning to undergo a minimally invasive procedure plan to get their teeth whitened, and one in five (23 percent) will go through a hair removal procedure. One in 10 (11 percent) will have a wrinkle filler injection (e.g., Juvederm, Restylane), while only 3 percent noted they will have Botox injections in the coming year.
Among cosmetic surgical procedures, 27% will have eyelid surgery and 18% will undergo hair replacement. Facelift (13%), tummy tuck (12%) and breast lifts (12%) round out the top five procedures people have planned for the next 12 months.