Why a Record Number of People Got Plastic Surgery During the Lockdown

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If you haven’t seen your co-workers in a few months, don’t be surprised if they turn up looking a few years younger or a few pounds lighter.

The COVID-19 lockdown has caused an unexpected surge in plastic surgeries in North America over the last year. A recent report revealed that 70% of surveyed plastic surgeons reported an increase in business during the pandemic lockdown. Meanwhile, more than 80% of those respondents attributed this growth to people wanting to look better on video calls.

It has been dubbed The Zoom Boom by many in the industry. Hundreds of thousands of people are hating the way they look on video calls and investigating the cost of a facelift procedure. Most plastic surgeons have seen a spike in phone call/email inquiries, as well as actual procedures performed.

Zooming in on the Face

Not surprisingly, the most popular procedures have been on webcam-facing parts of the body, and mainly the face.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) statistics, the top 3 most popular plastic surgery procedures of 2020 were:

  •   Nose reshaping (352,555 procedures)
  •   Eyelid surgery (352,112 procedures)
  •   Facelift (234,374 procedures)

These numbers represent a major shift in the plastic surgery marketplace, as breast augmentation had previously been the undisputed #1 plastic surgery in North America for more than a decade. However, in 2020, the famed boob job slipped down all the way to #5.

Rhinoplasty made a major jump to the #1 spot, which isn’t actually that surprising when you consider the unique opportunity that the lockdown created for people considering major surgical procedures.

Let’s say that you have never liked the size or shape of your nose. You have been on and off the fence about getting a nose job for a few years. Your major deterrent was most likely the prospect of having to use all of your hard-earned vacation days to recover from the surgery. You would like a nose job, but taking the family on a ski trip vacation would take priority over it.

But during the pandemic, you could no longer travel or take these vacations. At the same time, offices and workplaces across North America were closed, with employees working from home. This means that you could now get a cosmetic procedure and then recover from home discreetly. The lockdown lifestyle allows you to get the surgery and save your vacation days for a real vacation.

At the same time, if you were considering a non-surgical procedure (i.e. Botox) prior to the lockdown, the work-from-home world may have convinced you to go all-in and get a full-blown facelift or eyelift surgery. This is most likely why those procedures jumped (#2 and #3, respectively) ahead of breast augmentation.

Regaining Your Pre-Pandemic Body

An estimated 61% of Americans have gained weight during the pandemic lockdown. The problem is so widespread that it has been called The Quarantine 15 by some.

A few lucky people have been able to lose weight, often because being home from work allowed them to focus on what they eat for the first time in years, while they are also finally getting outside to walk or jog. But those people are few and far between, despite what you may have seen on Instagram.

The overwhelming majority of people have found it incredibly hard not to gain weight during the pandemic. Think of all of the things that the average person is dealing with:

  1. Their previous routines have been shattered, making it all too easy to develop new and unhealthy ones.
  2. They are most likely dealing with some form of depression or lockdown languishing. This means that they feel too blah to care about working out or eating right.
  3. They are probably sleeping poorly, and dealing with what experts are calling Coronasomnia.
  4. Home workout equipment skyrocketed in both price and in demand during the lockdown. If you could actually get your hands on some weights or kettlebells, they could be 10X the pre-pandemic prices.
  5. Their entire family could be home all day under one roof. Which can lead to new levels of stress and more frequent stress eating.

Liposuction and other body contouring procedures have been highly in demand, as people look to lose their newly acquired extra weight before going back to the office or going back into social situations. At the same time, these procedures can also help people look better on webcam calls and remove the dreaded double-chin.

Just Accept My Gray Hairs and Wrinkles? Ok Boomer

We are also seeing significant changes to the plastic surgery industry as the Millennial generation enters their mid-to-late 30s. Many of them now have secure careers, families, and they’re starting to see the signs of aging showing up in the mirror.

Millennials have already proven to have far more liberal attitudes towards plastic surgery than Generation X or Baby Boomers. Right now, a 35-year-old is statistically more likely to get plastic surgery than a 55-year-old.

This generation is actually looking to stay ahead of the aging process, rather than waiting for wrinkles and fine lines to really assert themselves. It has been called prejuvenation by some.

The Millennial age group is slowly taking over the plastic surgery market right now, and the number of procedures is likely going to skyrocket as more Millennials enter their 40s.

Plastic Surgery in the New World

Like many other businesses, the plastic surgery industry has been forced to adapt to the new normal. According to the ASPS report, clinics have had to close for an average of 8.1 weeks across North America.

Most practitioners have also had to limit the number of people in the clinic at any given time. This has meant that many have switched to video call consultations, as well as closing waiting rooms and being more strict about appointment schedules.

So if you were thinking about getting plastic surgery and wondering if clinics were open for business, they are open. And business is booming!

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