Medical Malpractice News

The Economy and Plastic Surgery

Tags: | Comments: 0 | February 18th, 2011

Neon Plastic Surgery Sign

As the economy recovers and grows, the amount of surgeries for plastic surgery increases. Payment plans with plastic surgery and the economy slowly are picking back up, leading men and women finding more reasons to have plastic surgery procedures.

Last year, there were over 13 million cosmetic procedures performed in the country, up five percent from 2009, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports. These included over1.5 million cosmetic surgical procedures and over 11 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures. The top five cosmetic surgical procedures were:

  1. Breast Augmentations (nearly 300,000)
  2. Nose Reshaping (over 25,000)
  3. Eyelid Surgery (over 200,000)
  4. Liposuction (over 200,000)
  5. Tummy Tuck (nearly120,000).

How Does the Current Economy Relate With Cosmetic Surgery?

With the economy allowing people to get their finances back in order only makes room for more consumers to spend more money to look better. For example, there was a nine percent increase from 2009 for facelifts alone. All surgical body contouring procedures increased in 2010, including:

  • Breast Lifts (90,000 procedures, up 3 percent)
  • Lower Body Lifts (10,000 procedures, up 9 percent)
  • Upper Arm Lifts (15,000 procedures, up 5 percent)
  • Thigh Lifts (9,000 procedures, up 8 percent)

There were also 5.3 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures performed in 2010, a two percent increase from the previous year. The top five types of reconstructive plastic surgeries were:

  1. Tumor Removal (4 million)
  2. Laceration Repair (350,000)
  3. Scar Revision (160,000)
  4. Hand Surgery (105,000)
  5. Breast Reconstruction (90,000)

The number of breast reconstruction procedures increased eight percent from 2009 to 2010. Societal stigmas play a big role in the increase in plastic surgeries, but the economy has the biggest role. When men and women have the means to support the surgeries they will be more inclined to do so.

Female Patient With Cosmetic Surgery Marks on Her Abdomen

The More Plastic Surgery Increases, the More Medical Malpractice Claims Increase

The increase of plastic surgery has been directly linked with the increase of medical malpractice insurance cases, but does not necessarily mean that the doctors are at fault. In 2007, there was a 50% increase of malpractice lawsuits against plastic surgeons. Cosmetic surgery can be an aspiring and beautiful solution, but can lead patients to have high expectations that in reality can never be accomplished. Of course there are cosmetic surgeries that go wrong that can be lead back to negligence by the doctor, but some patients expectations can never be reached. Simply being unhappy with the results is not a cause for medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical malpractice lawsuits for plastic surgeons have increased due to the boost of cosmetic surgeries, but actual malpractice has not been as highly affected.

There is always going to be an association of increased surgeries along with increased malpractice suits, but the jump that we have seen in lawsuits against plastic surgeons does not necessarily coincide with the wrong doing of the surgeons. Plastic Surgery medical malpractice insurance premiums have stayed relatively flat over the past several years across the nation. With most physician malpractice insurance companies, Plastic Surgeons that perform cosmetic surgery pay the same premium as physicians who perform reconstructive surgery. Most medical liability insurance carriers feel that cosmetic surgeons have a higher risk of claims however the rates are the same. Most physicians are trained in their residencies for reconstructive plastic surgery. Many go on to do fellowships in cosmetic surgery to enhance their skills as a cosmetic surgeon.

**Statistics used in this blog from: Source – US News  As Economy Picks Up, So Do Number of Nips & Tucks.