Credit Crunch and Plastic Surgery

In January 2009, 120 consultant BAPRAS members across the UK responded to a survey on the impact of the recession on their workload.  

The majority (95%) of surgeons who completed the questionnaire had a private surgical practice, and specialised in cosmetic surgery (95%) skin oncology (70%) and reconstructive (60%) procedures.

Geographical spread of the respondents is fairly even across the country, but with greater concentration of respondents (38%) practicing in Greater London and the South East.

The results suggested a decline in people enquiring about cosmetic surgery and procedures in the UK.
Almost half of the surgeons reported a considerable reduction in cosmetic operations (45%) and outpatient consultations (42%)

One-third of respondents were experiencing less demand for non-invasive cosmetic treatments

When asked how they were planning to tackle the decrease in demand for cosmetic operations, 63% said they would continue functioning as normal, and 43% said they would consider marketing their services more widely.

In summary, there was a significant drop in requests for cosmetic operations all over the country, but BAPRAS members did not expect interest to diminish completely. Most plastic surgeons also have demanding NHS schedules and will be kept busy with reconstructive procedures such as hand operations or treatment of skin cancer. Cosmetic surgery is a lifestyle choice. When times are hard people considering cosmetic surgery may decide to put it off. But, as seen following previous recessions, people invest in their appearance again when the economy starts picking up.