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Number of cosmetic surgeries sags

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Friday, March 26, 2010
Posted: 4 pm ET

Bet you never thought you'd see this correlation to the recession: Seems it isn't just the job market or housing sales that are sagging. So are the faces of many a wealthy socialite.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the number of elective cosmetic surgery procedures was down in 2009 for the second year in a row, as reported by an annual survey of a plastic surgeons' association.

"People just couldn't go for the big items," said Renato Saltz, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Garden Grove, Calif., which conducted the survey. Many cosmetic procedures aren't covered by insurance, and can cost thousands of dollars.

Interestingly, the two procedures that soared in popularity are buttocks lifts and augmentations. Each can cost up to $5,000, and have increased 25 percent and 37 percent respectively.

And popularity of elective surgeries is not expected to wane as baby boomers grow older. Since 1997, surgical procedures increased 50 percent, and nonsurgical procedures grew by a startling 231 percent. I guess you never can be too rich or too thin -- or too youthful-looking.

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