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March 09, 2022

Recession causes a droop in plastic surgery biz: report

The casualties of this latest recession come in different shapes and sizes.

And new victims always seem to come to light as we look back on the downturn. We know about the laid-off, the suddenly pension-less retirees and the graduates who can’t find work, but here are four new sufferers of the economy we never thought to consider.

Boobs, butts, tummies and chins.

Indeed, the saggy and misshapen among us appear to have just been sucking it up over the past year or two, according to new numbers from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

As reported in the New York Times, the plastic surgery business was one of many industries crippled by the recession, seeing a 20 per cent drop in annual spending in some regions.

The U.S., as you might imagine, was one of the biggest-hit areas, where a 20 per cent decline cost the nation’s cosmetic surgery biz some $2.7 billion last year compared with the country’s spending in 2007.

Which procedures were hardest hit? The top five ones, of course – the operations that, while the most expensive, also happen to be the most popular:

-- Breast augmentations drooped 22 per cent from 2007
-- Liposuction fell almost 40 per cent in that same period
-- Eyelid surgeries were down 38 per cent
-- Tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) shrunk about 30 per cent
-- Face lifts sagged by another 30 per cent or so, as well

Yet, despite the decline, the recession’s tightwad-inducing effects didn’t prompt all of society to simply leave their bodies be. In fact, a move toward spending less meant people did just that ... on the cosmetic procedures they insisted on getting anyway.

A decrease in big-ticket plastic surgeries appeared to mean an increase on cheaper, nonsurgical treatments like Botox and wrinkle fillers, which each received a 4 per cent boost in 2009 compared to a year earlier.

While we condone penny-pinching here as much as the next, you might want to reconsider skimping on costs if you actually plan on going under the knife.

After all, ladies, you don’t want to end up with four boobs.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...