A well known plastic surgeon has reported that cosmetic doctors are feeling the effects of the global economic situation, since wealthy women frequently choose to suspend pending cosmetic treatments in relation to the tough financial circumstances.
Anthony Erian claimed that plastic surgery businesses have also started experiencing the effects of the crisis.
For example, the surgeon named the case of a private clinic closing down and figures showing only half of the usual demand for cosmetic procedures.
Mr Erian, who has worked as a plastic surgeon for 29 years, explained: “People who don’t need cosmetic surgery are saying that cosmetic surgery is a luxury they cannot afford at the moment – just like they might decide not to go on holiday.”
“I would say there is a downturn of 50% across the board. They’re having the same problem in America. Who would have thought that American plastic surgeons would be looking for work in Dubai and the UK – but they are.”
“I don’t think the industry will die. There will always be a demand. It’s a matter of riding out the storm,” said Mr Erian.
The surgeon, who has performed surgery in Europe and the US, has a private practice in London and was the head surgeon at the Cambridge Private Hospital until it shut down in December 2008.
Mr Erian claimed that cosmetic surgery had become much more accessible to people with average income. However, the majority of people having cosmetic procedures are still female with only one in six patients being male. The surgeon added that private clinics that specialise only in plastic surgery were likely to struggle more than businesses that perform other types of surgical procedures.
He explained: “Hospitals which do other work and are partly financed by the National Health Service will find it easier. The hospital in Cambridge was specialist and they decided they did not want to lower their standards so they closed. Similar hospitals will also find it hard.”