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Plastic Surgery: Where’s The Roi?

Return on Investment (ROI) is an economic term not usually associated with plastic surgery.  When making evaluations post plastic surgery, most ROI is purely subjective and qualitative, where the patient reports feeling better about him/herself following a procedure like liposuction or a facelift.  Additionally, plastic surgery is elective, which makes the patients a self-selecting group.  Women usually report that they have plastic surgery to look better and feel happy – not to see a monetary ROI.  But, aesthetic plastic surgery, beauty and economics can and do co-exist.  An economist at The University of Texas at Austin (Daniel Hamermesh, Ph.D.) has studied economics and beauty for more than 20 years, and has published several papers and journal articles about his findings.  His research to date suggests there is a correlation between economic rewards and “better-looking” people.   Some of the study constructs and definitions may be a little soft, but the general idea is people who are aesthetically pleasing (i.e., non-obese, well dressed, youthful looking) seem to do better in terms of salary and job opportunities.  The recent influx of men into the plastic surgery arena for facelifts, brow-lifts and also for non-invasive cosmetic procedures like Botox could be linked to the scarcity of jobs and increase competition – especially younger competition.  The economics professor’s study found that for every dollar spent on one’s appearance, the expected ROI was about 15%.  It will be interesting to see what future empirical studies are done on aesthetic procedures, plastic surgery and economics, but for now most patients seem quite satisfied when looking at the before & after photos of themselves.  When plastic surgeons create better versions of their patients, it gives patients the opportunity to go forth with confidence.  For more information on plastic surgery in Houston (male or female), contact Dr. Michael Eisemann at the Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center.

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