The One Market Trend Private Practice Physicians Are Missing
Sometimes surgeons confuse me when it comes to business decisions.
After returning from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon’s (ASAPS) annual meeting (The Aesthetic Show) I found a blindspot that many plastic surgeons have.
One big topic was that nonsurgical procedures were on the rise in aesthetic practices.
Dr. Grant Stevens explained it well by citing a simple poll he does every time when he speaks to a crowd.
“Who wants to lose weight?” gets everyone’s hands up.
“Who wants to undergo surgery to lose weight?” gets almost ever person to lower their hands.
Patients want the benefit of looking good without undergoing surgery.
This is where brands like CoolSculpting took off as it offered patients a way to get what they want without surgery.
Broken Hands and Broken Practices
Dr. Steve Dayan illuminated a valuable point to his ASAPS peers:
What happens if you hurt your hand or injure yourself one weekend?
Dr. Dayan went on to explain that aside from being lucrative, nonsurgical verticals in an aesthetic practice will also safeguard if something takes the surgeon away.
Anyone in business will tell you that profitability doesn’t mean much without steady cash flow.
This is where nonsurgical procedures fit wonderfully as it requires less physical labor from the surgeon.
The Numbers Never Lie
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that cosmetic surgery is up for the first time since the Great Recession.
According to the study, Plastic surgeons have performed more than 12 million cosmetic surgical procedures in 2015, up a whopping 20.9% from 2014.
Here’s a one line summary of this chart — Nonsurgical procedures are destroying surgical procedures.
Why? Because it’s 2017 and people want medical results (both aesthetic and pathology based) that are minimally invasive or noninvasive.
Coming from a medical background and robotic spine surgery, I can tell you that a blind spot many surgeons have is when they foolishly look down on what the market wants.
Plastic surgeons did this years ago with Buttock Augmentation and didn’t respect what the market was demanding. The few surgeons who objectively listened then acted became first movers.
And now, the “Year of the Rear” has repeated itself in consecutive years.
Until it gets to a point that they set aside their stubbornness and realize that the market doesn’t care about their opinion.
Losers will complain about how wrong the market is and how it’s supposed to be.
Winners objectively say:
What the Market wants is where I have to go.
Now here’s where there’s a major blind spot: the Male Aesthetic Market.
A few market stats:
- The Male Aesthetic Market Is in Its Infancy and Has Increased 325% Since 199⁷¹²³
- 10% of All Cosmetic Surgeries in 2015 Were Performed on Men, Leaving a Large, Untapped Market¹²³
Men are becoming more educated through marketing efforts by the aesthetic industry and physicians that since medical technology is helping people live longer, why not look younger while you age?
What you don’t need a market research study for is to know that one of the more common things men notice is when they start losing their hair.
Where the Market is Going
“Hair is the first thing. And teeth the second. Hair and teeth. A man got those two things he’s got it all.” — James Brown
So here’s where I left ASAPS bewildered.
A session by Dr. DiBernardo was held on evaluating the economics of new technology in an aesthetic practice.
It was a great talk and he gave some valuable takeaways.
In his concluding slides, he shared the value of nonsurgical procedures and in his own evaluation found hair restoration to be a “winner” as a profit center.
The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons conducted a study and asked over 1800 people if they would rather have more hair, more money, or more friends.
Guess what happened?
The most common response was more hair (59.8%).
Now here’s where the data of patient behavior dovetails into the procedure data moving into 2017:
If hair restoration is done the old, traditional way of Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT or strip surgery) then it’s surgical.
However, done by Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) it’s nonsurgical.
FUE has a variety of approaches that include manual, motorized, and robotic.
And that’s where the market is going.
While Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) procedures accounted for over half of all hair transplants, Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is gaining rapidly, with a 51% increase over the 2012 results (from 32.2% in 2012 to 48.5% in 2014). See chart below
(Courtesy of Bernstein Medical. Data via International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons)
Now here’s the advice to physicians when it comes to getting traction and staying ahead of the growth curve
Go Where the Market Is Untapped Before Your Competition Does
Those who are first movers ride the wave of the market’s growth curve.
Since medicine is historically full of slow movers, you don’t have to take a big risk in doing so.
The market is speaking and it’s clear that male aesthetics has been on the rise.
The gateway to it is hair restoration and it is becoming a catalyst to get men exposed to other aesthetic procedures in your practice.
If you choose to be romantic about the way you’ve done business then you’re at risk of not surviving market trends.
So there’s the data, there’s the trend, and there’s where the market is going.
If you read this article and have even a drop of business sense I encourage you to register for this live webinar coming up on May 16. (Sign up now because it’s closing this week).
Don’t take my word for it.
Do your due diligence and make your own conclusions.
As our professors in medical school taught us, we have to always be curious and objectively make decisions based on what the research shows us.
Medicine is rooted in lifelong learning, so I hope you’ll pay respect to that and get signed up for this live webinar. There will be a Q&A at the end for you to speak candidly with your peers.
If you don’t then you’re at the mercy of your own lack of curiosity and the market historically punishes that.
The choice is up to you.
2. America Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, ASAPS-Stats 2015. Data on ἀle at Restoration Robotics.
Omar M. Khateeb is an unorthodox and innovative medical device marketing leader with a background in science and medicine.
His interests reside in sales psychology, neuromarketing, and self-development practices.