Arley Street clinics have seen a rise in the number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery as working from home allows them to avoid questions from colleagues, according to a leading practitioner.
Dr Julian de Silva, a facial plastic surgeon, said his clinic saw a 22% increase in patients in the last six months of 2021 as people took advantage of not coming to the office for the pandemic.
Since they don’t have to see co-workers, more and more people are choosing procedures with longer recovery times, such as face and neck lifts, he explained.
“The pandemic has certainly led to an increase in demand for more invasive procedures,” Dr. de Silva said.
“What deterred many people from having surgery before Covid was all the questions they would face when they returned to the office about the reasons for the procedure. They found the idea a little too daunting, but working from home took all that away.
According to Dr de Silva, who heads the Center for Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Harley Street had its busiest year in a decade with a 15% increase in cases after lockdown restrictions were relaxed last year .
Many patients have come from abroad to take advantage of less restrictive Covid rules in the UK, compared to the rest of Europe. Financial director Simona Suiogan, 48, of Canary Wharf, had six procedures with Dr de Silva last year, including a face, neck and brow lift.
She said: ‘I felt like I looked old and wanted something to cheer me up for my birthday. I loved being able to work from home while I recovered when I had swelling while my body healed.
“Covid’s job changes have definitely made it easier.”
Dr Judy Todd, a leading cosmetic doctor who practices at the Taktouk Clinic in Knightsbridge, which rivals Harley Street as London’s top location for cosmetic surgery, has also been busy. She said: “The number of patients and the demand for aesthetic treatments has increased by more than 20% in the last year.”
For Dr Todd, bookings have come in evenly throughout the year “as opposed to the holiday season in the past, when [patients] could conceal any downtime in the proceedings”.
“The trend has definitely been towards a subtly refreshed look, customers don’t want it to be obvious they’ve had work done,” she said.
“They want people to notice that they look younger, but not with the set face that was prevalent in the 2010s.”