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Plastic Surgery Trends for 2021: The COVID Effect

Plastic Surgery Trends for 2021 Covid effect

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. Illness, death, social distancing and restrictions, workplace disruptions, and uncertainty has been the focal point of 2020 and will most certainly extend for a considerable amount of this coming year. Despite this, in my New York City Plastic Surgery Office, I am seeing upticks in the demand for plastic surgery. We are seeing increased demand for invasive plastic surgery procedures, increased demand for non-surgical procedures, and increased attention to specific areas of the body. My colleagues around the country are reporting similar observations.  This is easily explained given the current circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at this.

Increased Demand for Invasive Procedures

There are many people who have been intending to have invasive surgical procedures like breast implants, tummy tucks, Brazilian Butt Lifts, and Mommy Makeovers. Having these procedures involves considerable planning, including time off of work or time away from parental obligations.  These issues surrounding recovery, are usually the main reasons why people delay having the surgery procedures that they desire.  Oftentimes, many years pass between when people decide to have a surgical procedure and when they actually have that procedure performed. It is common for patients to tell me that they “have been thinking about this for years”.

Changes From Covid Pandemic in Plastic Surgery

One of the main changes that has come from the COVID pandemic, is that people are working from home. This provides a unique advantage for those wanting plastic surgery. Now that people are working from home, they are able to recover from invasive procedures without having to take extended time off. This is because many people find it possible to effectively work from home after surgery, long before they would be comfortable physically going in to the office. When recovering from surgery, it is often difficult to get up, get dressed, drive or commute to work, be in an office, meet face-to-face with colleagues and colleagues, and then return home. This is the main reason why it is common to require two to three weeks off work while recovering from surgery. However, when working from home, the required time off can often be reduced to one week or less, simply by not having to physically go in to work.

Another important consideration when planning for plastic surgery is family considerations. If you are responsible for taking care of children, alternative arrangements need to be made. This can be difficult for many, especially if there are no friends or family available to assist you during your recovery. Now, since many people are working from home or have put off trips and vacations, it may be easier to find people who can help you or your family during the recovery period.

Additionally, many people have money available for surgery that they did not intend on having. This is because many people have cancelled vacations and are not eating out in restaurants. Current financial data indicates that many American families have significantly increased their savings. This has allowed people to find money that may have been reserved for something else, and now use it for their plastic surgery. 

This all means that more people are finding time and money to have the surgical procedure they have been planning.

Increased Demand for Non-Surgical Procedures

For many reasons as detailed above, there is also an increased demand for non-surgical procedures. These include Botox, Fillers, Lasers, and chemical peels.  This is because people have more time for recovery. While these procedures are not surgical, there is still associated recovery since some of these procedures can result in temporary bruising, swelling, and discomfort.  For example, while botox is very well tolerated and often has no bruising, fillers may result in bruising for a few days or a week. Additionally, chemical peels to the face may cause irritation and peeling for a few days for a light peel to a few weeks for a deeper and more aggressive peel.

The recovery from non-surgical procedures is often considered “social recovery”. This means that there is often no pain and no restriction of activities. However, people have bruising and swelling that often makes them want to hide from friends and colleagues until they heal. This can mean avoiding seeing people and being in social gathering for a few weeks. Given current social distancing, social restrictions, and work from home, there is a unique opportunity for “social recovery” without missing out on anything. This is continuing to drive the increased demand for non-surgical procedures.

Increased Focus on Specific Body Areas

Another consideration for 2021 is that people are wearing face masks and will continue to wear face masks for the considerable future. This means that certain parts of the body will remain covered while in public. Areas of the face, such as lips, jawline, neck, and chin, which are common areas of complaints, become less noticeable to others. This has caused people to put off treatment of these areas. There are less demands for neck lifts, fillers to the lips, and chin augmentation. This makes sense since these areas are often covered by a mask and quite simply, “no one sees it”. In turn, there is increased focus towards the areas of the face that remain uncovered when wearing a mask. These areas are the forehead, eyes, and upper cheeks. There is increased demand for treating these areas with botox, fillers, or surgery. Botox can be injected into the forehead and around the eyes to reduce or eliminate lines and wrinkles.  Filler can be injected under the eyes to reduce the appearance of eye hollows and eye bags. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the eyelids, and is increasing in demand since the eyes are the center point of someone wearing a mask.

These are certainly unprecedented times we are living in. There is turmoil, uncertainty, and sacrifice. There is also unusual opportunity for some people, and this has caused an increased demand for surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. I have seen this as well as my colleagues across the nation. To meet this increased demands, many plastic surgeons have increased the number of consultations they are offering and increasing the number of surgery openings. This is all being done while maintaining the safety of our staff and our patients.

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If you are looking to explore any surgical or non-surgical cosmetic procedures, we are here to help. To schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Schulman today, or if you have questions or concerns regarding surgery, send our office an email or give us a call!


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