Plastic Surgery in the Pandemic - Which Procedure Decreased in Popularity?

Posted March 17, 2021
Fillers decreased in demand during COVID

It is a bit of an understatement to say that 2020 was a strange year for everyone across the globe. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic had an impact on every aspect of daily lives including changes made to businesses to allow them to operate safely even with COVID-19 safety restrictions. Plastic surgery offices were also impacted by the changes made to their operations and safety measures by COVID-19. Even though it would seem that cosmetic surgery procedures would decline in popularity because of lockdowns and safety restrictions, there was one popular cosmetic procedure that saw the demand for it decrease in the past year. Take a look at the article below to see which cosmetic procedure has seen a decrease in popularity as well as the other changes the plastic surgery industry has seen in the past year.

Plastic Surgery Survey – What are the Results?

Plastic Surgery What was PopularThe American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) has released the results of their 2020 member survey which gives some insights into the industry in the past year. According to the survey, 70% of the member respondents reported seeing an increase in bookings and treatments in 2020.

In fact, nine out 10 facial plastic surgeons claimed to have enjoyed an increase of more than 10%. Some of the procedures they reported as increasing in numbers included facelifts, rhinoplasty and eye lifts.

One of the reasons plastic surgery procedures saw such an increase was the “Zoom effect”.  This phrase is used to describe the changes desired by patients that have spent a large amount of time staring at their appearance on a computer during video conference calls. In the past, people did not really take a look at their own image for long periods of time at so many different angles. Patients should remember that the angle of the camera, the type of camera used and the lighting of the room can cause a certain amount of distortion when it comes to the appearance of a person on a video call. Even taking those facts into account, there was a growing number of patients last year that wanted to make alterations or enhancements to their appearance due to their look on video calls for work.

The Impact of Working from Home on Plastic Surgery

During the member survey, 96% of the members said that the ability to work from home (and not having to miss work during the recovery period) was a big influence on the reasons why the public decided to get facial plastic surgery during the pandemic. There appears to be a decrease in the amount of hesitation felt by patients that work at home because their post-op swelling and bruising will not be viewed as much by their fellow workers during the recovery process. These patients feel like they can undergo an invasive procedure because they are able to stay home rather than having to go back to the office soon after surgery. Patients enjoy the greater amount of privacy that is afforded them during the recovery process by working at home.

Since many patients are working at home, they are saving money on gas, lunch and clothing for work. They are saving the money they would have spent on these items and putting it towards cosmetic surgery.

Fillers decreased in demandThe Cosmetic Procedure that Decreased in Demand

It is interesting to note that, while the demand for facial plastic surgery procedures increased in number in 2020, the demands for dermal filler actually decreased for the first time in many years.

There are a number of theories about the decrease in demand for fillers:

  • The lower half of the face is not viewed as often now thanks to the need to wear face masks.
  • Fillers do not give permanent results which means patients would need to perform a follow-up treatment to maintain the results. As they currently have more time at home to recover in private, there is an increase in the desire for more invasive surgical procedures that provide long-lasting results.

Self-Care during the Pandemic

Due to the need to social distance from others during the pandemic, plastic surgery has been a popular form of self-care for many people having to spend a good amount of time at home. The ability to go to the gym or visit a spa has been unavailable for many people so they have turned to cosmetic procedures to enhance their self-image and enjoy a feeling of being empowered.

There are vaccines starting to become available to many across the United States but it is too early to tell when everyone will feel safe or comfortable resuming activities they enjoyed in the past. Until then, cosmetic surgery will likely continue to be a popular method of allowing the public to enhance their appearance even if they are not able to “show off” their new look in a social setting.

- MA


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