From 2004 through the 4th quarter of 2008, the volume of Internet searches for elective medical procedures steadily declined. This coincided with, first, the financial turmoil and, second, the en vogue attitude that “back to basics” was the way to go. However, the back to basics trend might not last long. As you can see in the chart below, the first quarter of 2009 saw a dramatic spike in the number of searches for plastic surgery. This trend is visible for many elective medical procedures including specific procedure searches such as breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and face lifts. For the last five years, the first quarter of the year saw dramatic declines, thus this increase is not a season change. If this trend continues for a few more weeks it is a good indication that the plastic surgery market has bottomed out and is recovering. This is the perfect time for elective medical service providers such as plastic surgeons to ramp up their Internet marketing. The increased search numbers could include a bit of pent up demand that is important to capture early in the recovery.
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