- Calling on Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams has made more people rethink their image and opt for cosmetic surgery, healthcare experts say.
- “While this could be related to personal vanity, it is for some people also an important feature of their career and professional development”, said Liz Heath, the author of a cosmetic surgery report.
- The report said a London clinic had reported a fivefold increase in bookings. Another surgical clinic in north-west 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 consults in the US.
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Video calling during the pandemic has triggered a huge surge in enquiries and requests for cosmetic surgery, according to reports by health experts.
As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to lock themselves away, communication has moved mostly online. In response, businesses have resorted to holding meetings and conferences on apps such as Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams.
After looking at themselves in screens, more people are opting for face and neck lifts, cosmetic dentistry and hair restoration to maintain a professional look. This is according to a December report from LaingBuisson, a healthcare 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 triggered significant interest and demand for those wishing to ‘polish’ their appearance.”
While this could be related to personal vanity, “it is for some people also an important feature of their career and professional development,” she added.
Heath didn’t specify how many people had inquired for cosmetic surgery, but said a clinic in London had reported a fivefold increase in bookings. Meanwhile, a clinic in north-west England said the demand was “crazy.”
The report cited statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) that virtual consultations rose up to 70% during lockdown.
Dr. Lynn Jeffers is former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the largest plastic surgery specialty organisation in the world. She told Business Insider that members of the group have seen a significant rise in patient consultations.
There has been a 64% increase in telemedicine consults in America, according to Dr. Jeffers. She said: “Video calling may have induced some people to notice and seek consultation for what they are now noticing on the screen.”
Botox is the most popular procedure
The ASPS released a report in July revealing 68% of 350 surgeons in the US have seen a heavy stream of clients since their clinics reopened between May and June, depending on the state.
Botox injections were the most-requested procedure, closely followed by breast augmentation, soft tissue fillers injected into lips or cheeks, tummy tucks, and liposuction, Dr. Jeffers said.
Who is interested in cosmetic surgery?
The LaingBuisson report showed surgical treatments in the UK were generally requested by those in wealthy socio-economic groups. Non-surgical procedures, by contrast, stretched across demographics and socio-economic groups.
People over the age of 45 are most interested in seeking cosmetic surgery, and are willing to spend more money and time researching the procedures, the report said.
It also noted that demand from the younger generation â€” especially those under 18 â€” is growing.
Women dominate the cosmetic surgery scene, but it seems clinics across the UK are seeing more men are coming forward to have non-surgical treatments, or “tweakments”, the report said.
Dr. Jeffers said: “people of all ages, gender, and demographics continue to be interested in cosmetic plastic surgery” in the US.
After collecting data from a consumer survey, ASPS found that 49% of Americans who had not previously had plastic surgery would consider having either cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery, she added.
Cosmetic surgery suits the WFH lifestyle
With extra time on their hands, people have been able to learn more about the procedures available to them after seeing their faces on screens, Dr. Jeffers explained.
After having an operation such as a face or neck lift, there is a 14-day period in which the client rests to let their body heal.
Now that working remotely has become the norm, people are more inclined to have surgery and recover from it in the privacy of their own homes, instead of taking time of work, both Dr. Jeffers and the UK LaingBuisson report said.
Dr. Jeffers said some people had planned to have cosmetic surgery before the pandemic struck. So, they “took advantage of the downtime to have their procedures done when they could recover and work from home.”
Is this trend of Botox and boob jobs here to stay as people become increasingly reliant on video technology to keep connected?
Dr. Jeffers said it’s unclear whether the surge is down to pent-up demand after the reopening of surgeries, planned procedures that have been delayed, or new demand.
If the video-calling trend continues post-pandemic, however, it seems likely that business will also continue to boom for cosmetics surgeons.