Women are not as eager to have cosmetic surgery as they once were as recent statistics show that procedures have declined by almost 20% in the previous year. Breast augmentation, facelift and tummy tuck procedures are not occurring as frequently.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that in 2005, 2.1 million procedures were performed whereas in 2009, 1.9 million were done. Surgeons feel the largest factor is the current economy. The luxury industry in general has suffered a blow as consumers exhibit more frugal behavior. Health insurance in most cases does not cover the cost of rhinoplasty or breast augmentation and procedures typically run thousands of dollars.

In the last ten years, the cosmetic surgery industry experienced a surge. Procedures once procured by celebrities and the affluent were being acquired by women of lower class status. The topic was commonly discussed in various forms of media and popularized by such TV shows as Nip/Tuck and Dr. 90210. Reality TV shows, The Swan and Extreme Makeover chose everyday citizens to undergo head to toe transformations to the delight of the viewing audience. These shows are no longer broadcasted.

In recent years, celebrities and others opting to have elective procedures have been the subject of ridicule and gossip. Procedures are scoffed at as being too noticeable or individuals are accused of being addicted to personal appearance and cosmetic surgery.

Heidi Montag, a reality show actress, received criticism from peers, the public and family when she admitted to undergoing 10 cosmetic procedures within a year. Miami Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Hall believes that society’s desire for luxurious excess is coming to a close. People are exercising common sense when it comes to surgical cosmetic procedures.

Though cosmetic surgery is declining, non-surgical procedures are on the rise, which may merely reflect a more conservative choice in treatment. Botox injections, filler injections and laser treatments are less expensive, quicker and patients forfeit long recovery times associated with traditional surgery. Individuals are opting for procedures that are less invasive.

Physicians are noticing cultural as well as economical redirection. The size of breast implants has reduced along with the economy. Washington plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Baxter cites that while at one time one third of his patients chose B cup sizes, currently one half of the patients choose the smaller size.

The industry now wonders what the long term effects will be. Opinions differ, but most concur that while individuals may opt for other procedures, the vanity of humanity will continue to feed the desire for change.