Study shows law of supply and demand doesn’t work in Plastic Surgery
A study recently published in the official publication of ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), Aesthetic Surgery Journal revealed a really interesting finding. It seems that the cost of a cosmetic surgery is not related to the financial law of Supply and demand. Instead there is a multitude of other factors that influence pricing such as cost of renting a real estate, cost the real estate, expenses of living as well as the size of population of a region.
How was the study conducted? The research team picked randomly 10 plastic surgery centers from 15 cities of varying population (a total of 150 centers). Next step was to record average pricing for tummy tuck, eyelid surgery, breast lift, breast augmentation and facelift and compared them in relation to several demographic and economic stats. The lead author of the study, Dr. Subhas Gupta and Chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Loma Linda University describes the findings of the study: “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,”
It was also found that other factors that bring about this deviation of the costs of plastic surgery from the supply-and-demand model include ease of acquiring service regional culture as well as social perceptions of cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Gupta states: “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,” adding “Overall, procedure pricing is driven by a combination of local economic factors, consumer demand, and surgeon supply.”