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Injectable Procedures Up in 2009

Posted: February 1, 2010

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Leerink Swann analyst Gary Nachman sees the results of the survey as a good sign that the economy is really improving, but he tells investors to take it with a grain of salt. “We believe these encouraging results do need to be viewed with a degree of caution toward how they will be sustained in coming quarters,” he wrote in a recent investor report.

MEDACorp broke out the results to show procedures done by plastic surgeons versus dermatologists. The latest results show that procedures in the plastic surgeons’ offices were more popular during the quarter than they were a year ago. Nachman points out that surgeons have had to increase their product offerings during the downturn to include lower-priced treatments like injections.

The expansion of the plastic surgeons’ practices and patients’ choice to get lower-priced treatments indicates that consumers are still trying to hold on to their cash in these troubling economic times, but may have loosened up a bit about where they feel their money should be going.

As for where the economy is going next, physicians still think that growth in cosmetic procedures will continue — maybe a sign that things will be turning around for the American people this year (they had predicted double-digit growth for the fourth quarter). Yet, physicians weren’t quite as optimistic as they were last quarter and only project low-to-mid single-digit growth.

“The most optimistic projection was a 7.3% increase in breast implant procedures among the plastic surgeons. This is interesting, in our view, since this bigger-ticket procedure has been especially impacted by the economic downturn, and has appeared to be recovering more slowly than the less expensive injectibles,” added Nachman.