Plastic surgery shows signs of rate recovery

Middle-aged women contribute the most to the rising popularity.

Sarah Nienaber

As the country begins to slowly rebound from the recession, so does the plastic surgery industry.
Bruce Cunningham, a University of Minnesota surgeon, said he is seeing a definite upswing in the number of cosmetic surgeries at the Fairview Maple Grove Medical Center after a slump during the recession.
Carlson School of Management finance professor Stephen Parente agreed, saying the plastic surgery industry saw a slump during the recession but it would most likely be seeing a comeback, thanks to a materialistic streak American culture.
The procedures beginning to make a comeback include those that pertain mostly to middle-age women, like breast augmentation, tummy tucks and liposuction, Cunningham said.
Procedures that remained stable and didnâÄôt drop much during the recession were things like facelifts, which he said are performed on older, wealthier women.
Operations, like rhinoplasties âÄî which are the most popular procedure for college students âÄî are coming back as well, Cunningham said.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgery LTD was also hit hard by the recession. A nurse in the office, Crystal Ness, said the business saw a definite slump, which was shared nationally, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
There were 1.5 million cosmetic surgical procedures performed in 2009, a number that was down 9 percent from 2008, when the recession began.
Despite the slump, Minneapolis Plastic Surgery LTD is seeing a comeback similar to CunninghamâÄôs, Ness said.
âÄúAmerican society is a society that puts a premium on looking good,âÄù Parente said. âÄúAs long as the society is relatively well-to-do, and as long as the procedures are relatively safe, and as long as society culturally puts a value on looking youthful, I think the market is still pretty helpful.âÄù
But plastic surgeryâÄôs rebound doesnâÄôt signal an end to the recession as a whole.
University management professor Alfred Marcus  isnâÄôt so sure a rise in plastic surgery necessarily indicates an end to the recession.
Marcus is even unclear whether we are really coming to the end of the recession, saying that there are many things that can happen with our countryâÄôs economic future.
A rise in plastic surgery isnâÄôt a reliable indication of whether we are coming out of a recession, he said, due to the massive misdistribution of wealth in the United States.