How COVID-19 Changed the Face of Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery trends were impacted by the pandemic just as much as every other facet of our lives, with surgical and noninvasive procedures gaining in popularity.
The global pandemic changed every aspect of our lives and continues to do so, even now. Most people probably don’t think of it influencing plastic surgery, but it has. The 2022 American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Trends Report noted that there’s “unprecedented demand” for cosmetic procedures.
Let’s take a look at how the pandemic impacted cosmetic surgeries and what new trends have emerged in our post-pandemic world.
How Covid Caused More Interest in Plastic Surgery
There has been a surge of interest in cosmetic enhancements in post-pandemic life. Nearly half of plastic surgeons said they are seeing an uptick in patients, even compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Additionally, 29% are seeing double or more the volume of patients, signaling a big shift in general feelings about cosmetic procedures.
Many people experienced intense feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression during quarantine times. Being stuck at home left many people reflecting on what would improve their overall happiness. In this vein, younger demographics noted that feeling outer confidence would in turn boost their general self-esteem.
In addition, remote work also had an effect on how a large amount of the workforce viewed themselves. The need for frequent Zoom calls and video conferences left people staring at their reflections more than ever before. This alone was a big part of why so many decided to get surgical or non-surgical enhancements.
It is also important to note that patients are more willing to spend on cosmetic procedures than they were before the pandemic. The ASPS found that nearly 2/3 of patients are willing to spend more and 17% are willing to spend “a lot more” on whatever procedures they have chosen.
6 Reasons Why Patients Chose Plastic Surgery Because of the Pandemic
The ASPS survey asked plastic surgeons about what their patients’ motivations have been for seeking cosmetic procedures. They found that there were six main reasons given by patients:
– 42% weren’t able to travel and chose to use their travel budgets for cosmetic procedures
– 40% said that it was worth any cost to look and feel their best following the pandemic
– Roughly a third said they specifically saved up for procedures during the pandemic
– Many mentioned that remote work made recovery more convenient
– For several, seeing themselves in Zoom meetings inspired them to make a lasting change
– The remainder cited a “seize the day” attitude shift post-COVID that freed them to invest in themselves now rather than waiting
83% of surgeons surveyed have also said that patient interest is either staying steady or increasing. Boosting confidence and self-esteem seems to be as important as ever in a post-pandemic world.
Board Certified Seattle Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Shahram Salemy concurs and also shares that, “For me, I think patients really saw the Pandemic as a wakeup call— that time is short, and we want to live our best lives in our best selves for as long as possible!”
Top Surgical and Minimally Invasive Plastic Surgery Trends in 2021-22
Plastic surgery trends have also shifted along with patients’ attitudes toward cosmetic enhancement.
In terms of surgical procedures, the five most popular ones are:
- Breast augmentation
- Tummy tucks
- Breast lifts
Combined procedures like the ones above into a single surgery date are becoming more common. These are often called “mommy makeovers,” but surgeons are increasingly seeing women under 45 show interest in them, whether they have children or not. In fact, more patients than ever asked their surgeons for combination surgeries to speed recovery time and get better, longer-lasting results.
There was a huge boost in popularity for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures too. This category includes body sculpting and fillers.
The top five most popular minimally invasive procedures are:
- Soft tissue fillers (e.g., Juvederm, Restylane, etc.)
- Noninvasive fat reduction (e.g., laser treatments, CoolSculpting)
- Nonsurgical skin tightening
- Skincare and aesthetic treatments (facials, micro needling, etc.)
How to Choose a Reputable, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
No matter which types of cosmetic enhancement procedures you are interested in, it is critically important to choose a trusted, qualified surgeon. This is even true for non-surgical procedures. Not all estheticians who offer Botox injections or certain aesthetic treatments are trained as rigorously as plastic surgeons.
Remember that safety and a good reputation are among the most important factors when choosing a cosmetic surgeon. The easiest way to make sure that you have found an excellent surgeon is to only meet with board-certified candidates.
Board certification is an optional qualification that adds another layer of trust and reputability to your surgeon’s credentials. It shows that they have the highest standards for patient safety and continuing education.
To find a plastic surgeon near you who is board certified, you can search the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s website database. This certification is the gold standard of plastic surgery credentials.
The other most important consideration when picking a surgeon is how comfortable you feel with them. As with any other medical field, it is important to have a good, comfortable relationship with your cosmetic surgeon. He or she should be warm, knowledgeable, open, and willing to answer any questions you have.
Additionally, he or she should be honest about realistic outcomes especially if that surgeon doesn’t think a certain procedure or set of treatments is not right for you. They will often be able to recommend an alternative path to achieve the results you are hoping for.
Gain Post-Pandemic Confidence with Cosmetic Surgery
Plastic surgery trends like breast implants and body sculpting can give you the post-quarantine confidence you need and help you realize a more ideal version of yourself. Cosmetic procedures can help your outside image match your internal view of yourself.