This is according to a recent study by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "What they found is that 53 percent of the plastic surgeons were actually seeing a 30 to 40 percent decrease in the business," said Dr. Constantino Mendieta, a cosmetic surgeon in Miami. The worsening economy, he said, has caused Americans to turn away from expensive procedures, and to rush instead to get cheaper cosmetic work done on themselves, such as botox treatments, wrinkle injections, liposuction or mini-facelifts.
Mendieta observed that one big motivation people have in tough economic times is to look younger in order to get an edge in retaining or getting a job. "They will actually break the piggy bank to go out and try to perform these procedures so they can feel more competitive in the job market.
"In today's society," he said, "it's important to carry yourself with confidence, to feel good, to look good. All those things will help you in job performance. It's not necessarily for vanity. Some have suggested it now becomes more of an investment for yourself into the future."
With the decreased demand for surgical procedures, many plastic surgeons are cutting prices or offering attractive packages of multiple procedures to win back business. In 2006, the latest year for which data are available, doctors performed 11.9 million cosmetic surgery procedures - the highest number ever recorded.