Demand for Cosmetic Surgery Grows as COVID-19 Eases
- A survey by an organization of plastic surgeons indicates that there is a surge in cosmetic procedures as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
- The survey indicates that a significant part of this demand is made by women aged 31 to 45.
- Experts say a major motivator appears to be how people feel about computer screens in virtual meetings.
- They add that people are also looking for ways to self-administer after two years of pandemic restrictions.
More and more people in the United States are investing in cosmetic procedures as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
A national survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that three-quarters of aesthetic-focused plastic surgery clinics that responded to the survey saw an increase in activity from pre-pandemic levels with nearly 30 percent say that their turnover has doubled.
“With COVID, we prepared for the worst. But when we were able to reopen our office, we were pleasantly surprised by the incredible increase in demand for our cosmetic services, both surgical and non-invasive,” Dr. Bob Basua board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston and vice chair of the board of directors of finance for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said in a press release.
“COVID has changed everything. No one was traveling, the vacation was canceled,” Basu added. “So I think a lot of families and patients had a much higher disposable income. And so, they found it was the right time for them to have cosmetic plastic surgery.
The survey identified women between the ages of 31 and 45 as the most likely to seek out cosmetic procedures. Popular procedures included tummy tucks, liposuction, and breast augmentation.
Dr Julie C Holdinga board-certified plastic surgeon and co-director of the chief resident cosmetic clinic in the plastic surgery department at the University of Kansas Health System, said it’s a trend she’s seen among her clientele.
Holding told Healthline that it has seen an increase in demand for fillers, possibly due to people feeling self-conscious about their facial appearance in online virtual meetings.
“Work and school video rigs with poor camera angles and less than ideal lighting can lead to unflattering images and accentuated shadows,” Holding said. “Everyone knows that awful feeling when they turn on their phone’s camera and it’s pointed at you rather than the subject. Then adding the ‘make me better’ filters also creates an aesthetic which contrasts with our own beauty.
“This has made many women want to look more like a certain type of aesthetic: eye shape, eye angles, lip puffiness, less dark circles/puffiness under tired eyes, more curves like the shape of a hourglass with breast augmentation (with the patient’s fat or implants), liposuction tapered waist and rounder buttocks (Brazilian buttock lift) I have seen an increase in men also seeking eye lifts and liposuction,” Holding noted.
Plastic surgeons interviewed in the survey reported many reasons for people’s increased demand for cosmetic procedures.
About 40 percent reported customers said they would pay anything to feel good about themselves and more confident after the pandemic.
Another one 42 percent of surgeons surveyed said their clients had reallocated travel funds that had not been used during the pandemic toward cosmetic procedures.
The maintainer said that for some people, investing in themselves through cosmetic procedures is also a form of self-care.
“COVID was and is a very difficult time. Quarantine has forced a period of inner reflection,” she said. “People were keeping to themselves and trying to find something to feel good about. I saw a huge increase in weight loss and weight gain patients seeking body contouring, fillers, skin care consultations and botulinum toxins It was a new form of self care that patients pursued to feel good about themselves and more confident overall.
Other reasons cited in the survey include changing attitudes about living in the moment rather than postponing things, as well as remote work options making recovery from procedures less inconvenient.
Offer from Dr. Grahamplastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon and spokesperson for the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, says similar trends are being seen in the UK.
“I’ve seen a big increase in facial stuff over the past year since lockdown,” he told Healthline.
“Cosmetic surgery can make a huge difference both from a patient’s physical quality of life perspective and from a psychological perspective,” Offer said. “And that can be very positive when it’s done in a controlled and ethical way with a lot of consideration for the risks involved and balanced against the benefits.”
Some people may be discouraged by cosmetic procedures.
Experts who spoke with Healthline say this may include those with complex medical conditions that can complicate recovery.
Health factors that can lead to complications during recovery include poorly controlled diabetes, immunosuppressive medications, transplant recipients, nicotine use, and higher weight or body mass index.
As for whether cosmetic procedures are worth it, experts say it really depends on the individual.
“Patients must weigh the balance of being unhappy with their appearance with the process and discomfort of a procedure (surgery, injections, lasers), expected results including recovery time and willingness to take risks. “Holding said.
“That being said, from the surgeon’s perspective, as long as the person is a medically suitable candidate, has realistic expectations, and appropriate postoperative or postoperative support, it’s up to the patient to decide whether to whether or not he wants to proceed.. Consulting a plastic surgeon (board certified or eligible) can help make that decision,” she said.