The pandemic has brought many ups and downs to the entire world. The Plastic surgery industry, however, recorded increased interest and demand. Over the past year, many have opted to have surgical and non-surgical procedures, any time of year, not just during the typical busy period between October and December. Melissa Doft, M.D, a plastic surgeon based in NYC, attributed the growth to work-from-home policies due to Covid-19 restrictions. Being at home, many people found more and more things to enhance, according to a Board-certified Dermatologist from NYC. Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank,
New York Post and Allure published articles giving insight on this very topic. The industry profited financially too. The Aesthetic Society reported that between January 1, 2021, to July 1, 2021, over $8.7 billion on aesthetic plastic surgeries. In 2020, Americans spent a record $6 billion on elective plastic surgeries. What caused this boom in cosmetic surgery? What do doctors have to say?
What contributed to the 'boom' in cosmetic surgery?
1. Cosmetic procedure is the new Retail Therapy.
San Francisco-based board-certified plastic surgeon David Sieber credited the increasing demand for cosmetic surgery to 'more time at home and more money.' At his clinic, many people are requesting procedures with a sense of urgency. Dr. Sieber explains that many persons who had pre-Covid money saved for a big event decided to use 'that' money for their cosmetic procedure.
Dr. Frank's clinic in NYC saw more and more persons calling to request specific procedures. He attributed body and skin changes to the rising demand for cosmetic surgery. According to him, people are "now looking for the big-ticket items, and people are looking to retail therapy."
2. People have more downtime.
It is no doubt the pandemic caused a two-year break for many people. Some industries have doubted a hybrid work system, managing responsibilities remotely. Dr. Sameer Bashey, a Dermatologist, explains that people are taking advantage of the downtime. He stated that he is performing more invasive laser surgeries and chemical-peel. These procedures require more 'down time' compared to others.
Dr. Sieber added that the types of cosmetic procedures performed now mirror the invasive nature of dermatologic ones described by Dr. Sieber. More persons are taking advantage of their time at home. Instead of taking two weeks off after a procedure, they can discreetly wear post-surgical compression garments while attending zoom meetings with the cameras off. Even with the camera on during a call, no one can tell they have work down from the neck down.
3. People prefer doing multiple surgeries at once.
Dr. Paul Frank states that his clinic experiences 30% less parent volume but records twice as much time performing procedures per patient compared to pre-COVID patients. More and more patients request multiple surgeries done at once. Persons want to fit all of their needs into one session instead of returning several times in a short period. For example, people combine botox, filler, and Fraxel altogether.
4. More prefer permanent solutions to less-invasive procedures.
With more downtime, patients are motivated to get more invasive procedures done. Dr. Sieber explains it is more sensible to do the complete surgery than spend a ton of money on several cycles of Sculptra, fillers, or Thermage.
"COVID has really reversed the idea of non-surgical solutions; people would much rather get the full surgery than dilly-dally with fillers," - Dr. Sieber.
Due to Covid restrictions, patient volume at one clinic dramatically decreased. Therefore, wait times between appointments are longer. Doctors have more time to administer and monitor patients given the standard amount of dose-dependent treatment like Botox. On the other hand, smaller botox doses require more maintenance and doctor visits.
Although microdosing leaves a natural look, the standard dose lasts longer, and visits are three to four months apart. However, smaller amounts require frequent doctor visits, according to Dr. Sieber.
What do doctors predict for 2022?
Some doctors expect to see a dip in the number of cosmetic procedures done. Logically, as vaccination rates increases and restriction relaxation persons will want to do more than spend time at home recovering or at the doctor's office. Dr. Sieber expects a significant dip in procedures as soon as travel restrictions are relaxed.
Dermatologists expect Americans will return to their old routine, skincare, and injectables. Dr. Frank predicts that once the world opens, the people will return to treatments that require a doctor's visit every two weeks.
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DISCLAIMER: The author of this article is NOT a health professional. The opinions shared are inferences based on the facts researched. All facts presented were researched and extracted from haircare and health sources. All sources were reviewed by skincare and health professionals.