Traditional plastic surgery is on the decline in the United States. Photo: Getty Images

Has the bubble burst on plastic surgery? According to The Guardian, signs point to yes.

A recent article states that according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of surgeries dropped from 2.1 million in 2005 to 1.9 million in 2009.

The most obvious reason is the recession. It's pretty hard to find thousands of dollars for a nose job or tummy tuck when you're unemployed and struggling with mortgage payments.

Another factor is simply a backlash against the plastic surgery boom of the past decade. Cosmetic surgery became such a cultural norm -- with reality TV shows like "The Swan" and "Extreme Makeover", plus the sign-of-the-times drama "Nip/Tuck" -- that it was only a matter of time before the pendulum swung the other way and people started valuing a more natural aesthetic.

Even celebrities are less and less likely these days to get obvious procedures, lest they be scrutinized and criticized all across the Internet.

Although Heidi Montag seems to have missed the memo on that.

The shift now is towards less radical procedures, and in fact, the number of non-surgical enhancements -- like Botox and lasers -- have been steady. Procedures like these are performed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons to stave off the need for a dramatic procedure down the line, and help a person look more natural than one would with a skin-stretching face lift.

But will cosmetic plastic surgery ever really go away? As quoted in the article, NYC plastic surgeon Dr Elliot Jacobs said, "As long as a woman or a man has a mirror available, there will be a continued interest in plastic surgery."

What are your thoughts? Is cosmetic plastic surgery a luxury we Americans should do without? Leave a comment below and tell us!