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The bad, the better and the breast: 2008 forecasts for breast implants

Article-The bad, the better and the breast: 2008 forecasts for breast implants

New York — There’s either good news or bad news ahead for cosmetic surgeons — depending on which of two recently released surveys turns out to be true.

First, the projected bad news: Results of a Merrill Lynch survey reveal that plastic surgeons think the sluggish U.S. economy will limit the number of breast augmentation procedures they perform in 2008, according to a story in a recent issue of U.S. News & World Report.

The survey found that 77 percent of the plastic surgeons polled blame the economy for reducing the total number of breast augmentation procedures they performed last year, while 80 percent believe economic factors will have a negative impact on business this year.

Despite that dour forecast, however, more than two-thirds of respondents say they expect a modest year-over-year increase in procedures, due largely to rising public acceptance of breast augmentation, increasing awareness of implant surgery, the approval of silicone implants, and growing referrals from satisfied patients. Fourteen percent of the surgeons polled say they expect no growth, and 6 percent predict a decline in the number of procedures in 2008.

Now the projected good news: According to Waltham, Mass.-based Millennium Research Group’s Global Markets for Breast Implants 2008 report, the U.S. breast-implant market, the worth of which was pegged at more than $378 million in 2007, will grow to more than $620 million in 2012, reports news source PRNewswire.

The Millennium Group report credits the projected market rise to the FDA’s re-approval of silicone breast implants as well as to the projected increase in the use of fourth-generation silicone breast implants, known as “gummy bear” implants.

According to PRNewswire, Millennium Group analyst Aviva Shedletzky says, “Over the next five years, increased societal acceptance of breast augmentation procedures, as well as penetration of higher-priced silicone implants, will drive market growth. By 2012, nearly 80 percent of breast implants sold in the U.S. will be silicone. Given that these products command approximately double the price of the saline alternative, revenues will increase.”

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