Other medical treatments and surgical specialties have experienced a decline due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Patients are afraid of exposure, so they’d rather postpone, if not cancel, a procedure. But on the other side of the medical spectrum, the same cannot be said for the industry of cosmetic surgery.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that more than 1.8 million procedures were performed in 2019 (both minimally invasive and surgical). While there’s no data yet for 2020 procedures, in June, the ASPS reported a 64 percent increase in patient consultations via telemedicine. Also, 49 percent of the respondents who have never had plastic surgery is open to the idea of getting it in the future.
Why People are Invested in Pandemic Procedures
Since more people are meeting online, more people are interested in non-invasive facial procedures to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. People want to still look good, even though they can only be screen through a screen. What people see on the screens, however, can be deceiving. The angles, lighting and limitations of the camera can make a person look different online.
Instead of depending on filters, people would rather go for a permanent or semi-permanent change to their looks.
Cosmetic Procedure Trends During 2020
In 2019, the most common plastic surgery procedures were tummy tucks, breast augmentations and liposuctions. As of June 2020, however, the tides have changed. The ASPS reported that more patients are changing their focus by having more procedures above the neck instead of below the neck.
For example, a majority of the population is wearing a mask, hiding the lower portion of their face. It’s only natural for people to become more conscious of the upper half of the face. Some put their hair up into a topknot or add an extra coat of mascara to build up visible features. But if these temporary solutions are not enough, longer-lasting solutions for brighter eyes and defined brows become options.
This is where appointments with a plastic surgeon come in.
Apart from facelifts and Botox, elective procedures around the eyes increased in demand. Some of the most popular include the following:
- Botox around the eyes. Also known as ‘the bright-eyed-look,’ this procedure involves injecting more units of Botox around the eyes. The injections soften the crow’s feet (aka the wrinkles and lines on the sides of the eyes), as well as relax the facial muscles.
Some plastic surgeons also add standard units of Botox on the forehead to smoothen wrinkles on the frown lines.
Botox can also make the eyes look wider without surgically altering the eye’s shape. Injecting Botox around the eye’s four key muscles weakens them, giving the patient the lift. As a result, their eyes will appear more awake.
- Eyelid lift. A more invasive form of eye procedure – and most permanent – is the eyelid lift, a surgical procedure that alters the appearance of the eye. Initially, the procedure sounds overwhelming but it can be done in an aesthetic office and under local anesthesia.
The procedure is just a small incision on the upper eyelid. The surgeon will remove a small section of the skin, which reduces the eyelid’s weight and lifts the eye open. Recovery takes about a week.
- Botox brow lift. Botox injections are still trendy despite the introduction of newer procedures. Brow lifts are among the list of cosmetic treatments that most patients get. This form of Botox procedure that’s injected underneath the eyebrow, tightens and smoothens the skin that sits between the eyelid and eyebrow.
Similar to any Botox procedure, the lift is temporary but it lasts fromthree to six months.
Patients are still interested in lip fillers, despite masks covering the face. Also, necks have captured the attention of patients who wish to have aesthetic procedures done. Everyone is being more mindful and wanting to improve their appearance, even though they are only meeting people via Zoom.
Safety Measures to Ensure Patient Safety
Telemedicine is helping surgeons effectively manage the growing demand for procedures while reducing the risk of transmission for patients. Surgeons are doing more consultations virtually, with many of them following up with out-of-town patients online to eliminate the need for travel.
In-person consultations are still available. Patients who wish to consult in person, however, must follow safety measures. Most offices have already taken normal precautions, such as limited visitors, masks, temperature checks and avoiding full waiting rooms.
Despite the pandemic, more people are still interested in improving their appearance but the motivation is different. They still want to look good, even though they can only be seen on screen.