The Laws of Supply and Demand Don't Apply to Cosmetic Surgery Pricing

Population Size, Cost of Living, Real Estate and Rent Influence Price of Aesthetic Procedures

New York, NY (July 8, 2015) – The economic laws of supply and demand don’t apply to the pricing of common cosmetic surgery procedures according to a recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the official publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Results of the study demonstrated a correlation between costs of cosmetic surgery procedures and local economic factors such as the cost to own real estate, cost to rent real estate, cost of living and the population size of a geographic region. Pricing correlated (albeit weakly) with household income and per capita income.

Researchers randomly selected ten plastic surgery practices from each of fifteen US cities of various population sizes. They looked at the average prices of breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery, and facelift in each city and compared that information with economic and demographic statistics.

“Cosmetic surgery pricing cannot be completely explained by the supply-and-demand model because no association was found between procedure cost and the density of plastic surgeons. Prices remained high in cities with high surgeon-to-patient ratios, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Phoenix,” explained Dr. Subhas Gupta, lead author and Chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Loma Linda University.

Other factors that account for the deviation of plastic surgery pricing from the supply-and-demand model include regional culture, ease of acquiring service and social perceptions of cosmetic surgery.

“As the demand for cosmetic surgery has increased, physicians from specialties such as dermatology, otolaryngology, obstetrics, general surgery, and primary care have assumed roles as cosmetic surgeons. By offering to perform procedures on patients at a fraction of the average cost, they have driven down the cost of cosmetic procedures contributing to the deviation in the supply-and-demand model,” added Dr. Gupta. “Overall, procedure pricing is driven by a combination of local economic factors, consumer demand, and surgeon supply.”

To view the complete study, visit the Aesthetic Surgery Journal site at:


About the Aesthetic Surgery Journal
Aesthetic Surgery Journal is a peer-reviewed international journal focusing on scientific developments and clinical techniques in aesthetic surgery. An official publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), ASJ is also the official English-language journal of many major international societies of plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery representing South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It is also the official journal of the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and The Rhinoplasty Society.

ASJ was indexed with MEDLINE/PubMed in 2008 and covered by the Thomson Reuters' Journal Citation Report since 2011. ASJ's current Impact Factor is 1.841. In the 2014 JCR, ASJ ranked 65th out of 202 journals in the overall surgery category. ASJ is presently ranked #1 among all aesthetic surgery journals and #2 among all plastic surgery journals.

ABOUT The Aesthetic Society

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. The Aesthetic Society is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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