The New York Times is saying today that cosmetic surgery procedures increased by 3% in 2008, compared with 2007, even with the recession.

What’s interesting about the article is that they are lumping together both surgical and non-surgical treatments. In fact, it is the non-surgical treatments that are increasing and cosmetic plastic surgery that is declining.

Here are some numbers for surgical procedures:

  • Liposuction down by 19%
  • Tummy tucks down by 18%
  • Breast augmentation (boob job) down by 12%
  • Surgical facelift down by 5%

Here are the non-surgical procedures:

  • Laser skin resurfacing up by 15%
  • Dermabrasion up by 13%
  • Botox up by 8%

A lot of articles make the trend from surgical to non-surgical cosmetic treatments be primarily a result of economic trends but that is not the case.

Surgery is inherently risky. Every year, we hear of people dying after cosmetic surgery procedures like liposuction, tummy tucks and facelifts. And the recovery time after surgery is longer than after non-surgical treatments.

But the biggest reason to choose non-surgical treatments in my opinion is that you still look like yourself afterwards.