Cosmetic surgery demands exploded during lockdown with video calls

  • Using Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams has prompted more and more people to rethink their image and opt for cosmetic surgery, according to health experts.
  • “While it may be related to personal vanity, for some people it is also an important feature of their careers and professional development,” said Liz Heath, author of a cosmetic surgery report.
  • The report says a London clinic reported a five-fold increase in bookings. Another surgical clinic in the North West of England said the demand was “crazy”.
  • Dr Lynn Jeffers, former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), said there has been a 64% increase in telemedicine consultations in the United States.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

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Video calls during the pandemic have triggered a huge increase in inquiries and requests for cosmetic surgery, according to reports from health experts.

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to lock themselves in, communication has mostly shifted online. In response, companies have resorted to organizing meetings and conferences on applications such as


, Skype and Microsoft Teams.

After watching themselves on screens, more and more people are opting for face and neck lift, cosmetic dentistry and hair restoration to maintain a professional appearance. That’s according to a December report from LaingBuisson, a health business intelligence site that advises the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Liz Heath, author of the LaingBuisson report, said: “The use of video calling via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and Microsoft Teams has apparently generated significant interest and demand for those who wish to ‘polish’ their appearance.”

While it may be related to personal vanity, “it is also for some people an important characteristic of their careers and professional development,” she added.

Heath did not say how many people had requested cosmetic surgery, but said a London clinic had reported a five-fold increase in bookings. Meanwhile, a clinic in the North West of England said the demand was “crazy”.

The report cites statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) that virtual consultations increased by up to 70% during the lockdown.

Across the Atlantic, the United States is experiencing a similar trend. After closing during the lockdown, plastic surgeons were allowed to reopen their practices May 1 in California, and June 8 in New York.

Dr. Lynn Jeffers is the past president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the world’s largest plastic surgery organization. She told Business Insider that group members have seen a significant increase in patient visits.

There has been a 64% increase in telemedicine consultations in America, according to Dr. Jeffers. She said: “Perhaps the video calls made some people notice and ask for a consultation for what they are now noticing on the screen.”

Botox is the most popular procedure

ASPS has published a report in July revealing that 68% of 350 surgeons in the United States have seen a significant flow of clients since their clinics reopened between May and June, according to the state.

Botox injections were the most requested procedure, closely followed by breast augmentation, soft tissue fillers injected into the lips or cheeks, tummy tucks, and


said Dr Jeffers.

Who is interested in cosmetic surgery?

The LaingBuisson report showed that surgical treatments in the UK are generally in demand by upper socio-economic groups. Nonsurgical procedures, on the other hand, extended to all demographic and socioeconomic groups.

People over 45 are more interested in cosmetic surgery and are willing to spend more money and time researching the procedures, according to the report.

He also noted that demand from the younger generation – especially those under 18 – is increasing.

Women dominate the cosmetic surgery scene, but it appears clinics across the UK are seeing more and more men coming forward for non-surgical treatments, or “adjustments,” according to the report.

Dr Jeffers said, “People of all ages, genders, and demographics continue to be interested in cosmetic and plastic surgery” in the United States.

After collecting data from a consumer survey, the ASPS found that 49% of Americans who had never had plastic surgery would consider having cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery, she added.

Cosmetic surgery adapts to the lifestyle of the WFH

With more free time, people were able to learn more about the procedures available to them after seeing their faces on the screens, explained Dr Jeffers.

After undergoing an operation such as a face or neck lift, there is a 14 day period during which the client rests to allow their body to heal.

Now that remote working has become the norm, people are more likely to have surgery and leave it in the privacy of their own homes, instead of taking time off from work, said Dr Jeffers and the British LaingBuisson report.

Dr Jeffers said some people have planned to have cosmetic surgery before the pandemic hits. Thus, they “took advantage of the downtime to carry out their procedures when they were able to recover and work from home.”

Read more: Plastic surgeon says ultra-wealthy clients are begging to take him in private jets and pay quadruple his rates to do the job during quarantine

Is this trend of botox and boob jobs here to stay as people increasingly rely on video technology to stay connected?

Dr Jeffers said it was not clear whether the rise was due to pent-up demand after surgeries reopened, planned procedures that were delayed, or re-demand.

If the trend of video calling continues after the pandemic, however, it seems likely that business will continue to flourish for cosmetic surgeons as well.

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