Low Cost or Lasting Results? Survey Shows Real Patient Preferences

Two new patient surveys show that many are seeking inexpensive facial treatments, but would prefer to have a procedure with long-lasting results.

The surveys suggest that the recession economy has caused people to delay facial plastic surgery in favor of simpler, but less effective, procedures.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, patients in surveys revealed:

  • Most people would prefer anti-aging treatments with long-lasting results over immediate results
  • Most patients also felt that long-lasting results were more important than cost
  • Physicians however, perceived that patients wanted immediate results, and valued cost saving over long-lasting results
  • 53 percent of respondents considering facial plastic surgery had been affected by the economy in their decision, and many of the same group chose less expensive options or delayed surgery as a result.

Doctors weren’t surprised to find that economic factors have influenced people to choose non-surgical treatments, since recent statistics from ASPS and ASAPS have documented that trend. But the “disconnect” between patient preferences and the physician’s perception was a surprise.

“Contrary to physician views, the survey results suggest that even for nonsurgical facial aesthetic options, treatment plans should focus more on longevity than on immediate impact,” said lead author T. Jonathan Kurkjian, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

“There is an opportunity here to better communicate with patients, discussing the pros and cons of nonsurgical treatments, particularly longevity of these treatments,” added Foad Nahai, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal.


The patient survey was conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, and the physician survey was conducted Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

The full results of the two surveys are published in the article “Impact of the Current Economy on Facial Aesthetic Surgery,” appearing in the September issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

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