I was surprised to recently discover that the demand for cosmetic surgery (AKA plastic surgery) is on the rise despite the coronavirus pandemic. Experts I talked to also say the increase came as a surprise, but they recognize that video conferencing is a significant factor.
In June 2020, a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) found that 64% of surgeons in the U.S. have seen an increase in telemedicine consultations for cosmetic procedures since the pandemic began. It has become a phenomenon known worldwide as the “Zoom boom.” With millions of people working from home, they spend extra time on Zoom and other video apps. This leads people to identify specific features they want to improve.
I asked a team of plastic surgeons from Columbus, Ohio (hometown shoutout!!) to give further insight into this phenomenon. One clinic experiencing an increase in demand since reopening its plastic surgery is Midwest Breast and Aesthetic Surgery (MBAS). Three board-certified surgeons lead the team at MBAS, Dr. Kocak, Dr. Tiwari, and Dr. Kale.
What are the experts saying?
According to them, when elective surgeries were shut down at the start of the pandemic, many surgeons constantly wondered how willing patients were to return if they reopened. They began to develop strategies on how to safely resume operations with COVID-19 safety protocols. But to their surprise, they were greeted with a long queue of teleconsultations and surgeries.
Despite the pandemic, demand was still consistent for breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, and facelift – five of the most popular surgical procedures in the US before the pandemic.
For MBAS, the pandemic hasn’t stopped their patients from seeking fat transfer breast augmentation, a safer and less invasive process of using liposuction to remove fat from one part of the body (e.g. the tummy, upper legs, or flanks) and infusing it into the breasts. They’ve also received a continuous flow of inquiries for explant surgery and flat closure.
When I asked for further insight as to why the experts think plastic surgery is booming despite the pandemic, they shared three reasons why they believe people are choosing to do it now.
Why are people getting plastic surgery now?
People can now afford to get surgery
Before COVID, people spent their income on leisure activities like dining out and traveling. Because of lockdowns and movement restrictions, they are saving their money and are finding they have the extra funds for plastic surgery instead. At some point in the past, cosmetic procedures were often reserved for the wealthy.
But today, there are many financial options. From health insurance cards and personal loans to payment plans offered by the clinic itself, plastic surgery is now more feasible for everyone.
Stay at home orders make it ideal for recovery
One of the main obstacles to scheduling plastic surgery has been the inability to have enough time for recovery. While many patients can return to work within a few days of surgery, adequate downtime is essential for optimal results.
With both invasive and non-invasive procedures, a lack of rest can lead to visible bruising and discoloration during healing. This is a significant hindrance for those who can’t afford to miss more than a day or two work. But now that people work from home, they can recover without missing work.
They can also take longer recovery breaks because they no longer travel to and from the office. As long as they have everything they need, they can stay home for as long as they need to recover, an enticing benefit for many professionals.
The positive impact on self-esteem and confidence
In a 2019 survey by RealSelf/ Harris Poll, one of the main reasons people undergo cosmetic procedures is to improve their self-esteem and confidence. Studies have shown that social media has played a significant role in producing a negative self-image among young people. Body dysmorphia affects how people live their lives, so they look for ways to improve their physical appearance.
Satisfied patients see tremendous benefits in their lives after treatment. When they look good after surgery, they feel good. And when they feel good, their outlook on life improves significantly.
Talk to a Board-Certified Surgeon
Plastic surgery can be a fantastic, life-changing experience. That’s why it’s important not to rush the process. When looking for a doctor, it is best to work only with a board-certified plastic surgeon. These qualifications signal that you can trust them because they are trained and qualified to perform your procedure.
During your initial consultation, it’s essential to ask about the surgeon’s style and approach. You can ask for case studies from previous patients or search online forums for reviews about your potential surgeon.
Finally, take the time to check out the facility. Ask about their protocols and how they ensure patient safety, and what state-of-the-art equipment they have available.
Plastic Surgery is just one way to Feel Better About The Way You Look, just remember – it’s up to you. If you want it, GO FOR IT!