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Growth of Less Invasive Cosmetic Procedures Expected to Continue

Less invasive procedures will continue to drive the cosmetic surgery market during the next decade, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS); however, that popularity may bring with it safety concerns. According to the group, a total of 55 million cosmetics surgery procedures will be performed in 2015, four times as many as occurred in 2005.

Botox, fillers and lasers lead the way

Laser-related procedures, cosmetics fillers and injectable toxins such as Botox will be driving this growth, according to data from the ASPS. Between 1992 and 2005 the number of nonsurgical procedures grew annually by 27.9% in comparison to a CAGR of 7.5% for the surgical procedures, and the ASPS believe that this trend will continue.

Similar results from the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) back up this hypothesis and suggest that nonsurgical procedures will weather economic struggles better than their surgical counterparts.

According to the survey consistent growth--ranging from 28-40% increases--has been seen in laser related procedures, cosmetic fillers and injections such as Botox during the last six months, despite an economic slowdown.

"These findings indicate that, for patients, investing in the health and beauty of their skin is still a priority during unsteady economic times," said ASDS president Dr Darrell Rigel.

Are consumers blasé about the risks?

However the popularity of nonsurgical procedures may come with a price as the more frequent and available the treatment the more relaxed consumers may become towards the potential risks, particularly those concerned with choosing the right physician.

"Our concern is that with predicted growth and interest in the broad spectrum of cosmetic procedures, patients will look to the closest, easiest solution," said president of ASPS Richard D'Amico.

And the 'closest, easiest solution' may not be the safest. A recent survey performed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) states that younger woman are more likely to opt for nonsurgical procedures but simultaneously pay less attention to safety.

Women aged between 18 and 34 were more than three times as likely as women aged between 35 and 64 to have had noninvasive procedures at a medical spa, according to the survey. Furthermore, when visiting the medical spa, of those that had an opinion, more than half indicated they would be comfortable if the physican were not present during a noninvasive procedure.

According to AACS president Dr. Steven Hopping, medical spas can provide a good service but consumers should always make sure there is a qualified physician doing the service., June 25, 2008