The surprising and super relevant reason for plastic surgery is booming

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Upon hearing the news that the whole country was shutting down and all non-essential businesses were shutting down with no reopening in sight, a seemingly selfish thought crept into my head: What will happen to my Botox? In the midst of a global pandemic, I quickly learned that I was not alone. According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 64% of plastic surgeons have seen an increase in telemedicine consultations during the pandemic. The procedures that generated the most interest were eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, facelifts, liposuction, tummy tucks and breast augmentation.

It didn’t stop at consultations. Despite uncertainty about the future, annual statistics from the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery of the Aesthetic Society revealed that Americans spent more than $ 9 billion on cosmetic surgery in 2020.

“I have never been this busy in my life,” says David W. Kim, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in San Francisco, Calif., Who specializes in rhinoplasty procedures and has been booked throughout the year. . “We closed for a few months, like everyone else last March. I was just preparing for a really tough year and then once we started to open the floodgates opened. It became the busiest year I can remember. What caused this boom in aesthetic treatments at a time when self-preservation was paramount? According to the experts interviewed here, the answer is multi-layered, but whatever the reasons, we know cosmetic treatments are on the rise and show no signs of abating.

Personal improvement

In addition to wearing a mask, Dr Kim considers the wellness factor to be a major motivation for his patients. “I think having more bandwidth to do something about a concern that bothers you is probably the main reason, but so many patients have said that if it wasn’t for the pandemic, they wouldn’t might not have. Even older patients who have waited their entire lives for rhinoplasty – the pandemic has prompted people to take stock of their lives and what is important to them. Many people have become more interested in fitness, nutrition, and general self-improvement, and plastic surgery is just one part of it.

Control factor

In the United States, 42% of those polled in a CDC survey reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, an increase of over 200% from 2019 results. Clinical psychologist and founder of the center COPE psychological, Dr Rubin Khoddam, explains that just like getting a new haircut after a breakup, regaining control is a way of dealing with anxiety and feeling good again: “So many of our daily pleasures have been removed, and taking care of aesthetic concerns is a way of feeling pleasure, novelty and even control.

“Improving how you feel is a very effective way to regain a sense of control,” says New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD. “Many people find comfort in shifting their attention from external events that they cannot control to their internal feelings about things that can, which sometimes manifests itself in their physical appearance.”

Fighter with fatigue

London plastic surgeon Yannis Alexandrides, MD, said despite England’s three lockdowns, an increase in cosmetic surgery served a dual purpose for some of his patients. “It’s a double effect,” he explains. “You take advantage of the fact that you’re not working, but it also gives you a psychological boost and you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t really waste time if I do something that I’ve always wanted to do. ‘”

Build confidence

Chicago plastic surgeon Michael Byun, MD, says boosting self-esteem is another reason for the rise. For one of her facelift patients, Silvia Rios, 61, matching her outer self to a new confidence she had gained with age was transformative. “Some women honor the lines of their face because they tell the story of what they went through, but for me it was more attractive to create a new story with the new emotions that I was going through,” explains- she does. According to Dr. Khoddam, plastic surgery has been shown to have positive psychological benefits: “Research has shown that most people who undergo cosmetic procedures express satisfaction. However, there is also a large population of patients who have unrealistic expectations or who were previously dissatisfied with their surgery and who have been shown to have poorer mental health outcomes. “

Find balance

While some things like cosmetic treatments, vacations, and retail therapy can give us a sense of ‘hedonistic bliss’, Dr Khoddam points out that more modest self-care strategies ultimately give us ‘eudaimonic’ feelings. or satisfied more lasting. “Taking care of yourself is taking care of the outside and the inside,” he says. “While the outdoors can have an impact on how we feel, I view self-care strategies as small, momentary things that help us stay in balance. It’s the 10-minute walk, the five-minute morning meditation, or reading a good book before bed.

Improving the way you feel about yourself is an effective way to gain a sense of control.

-Dr. Vasyukevich

While the “Zoom Boom” is often cited as the reason for the recent surge in surgery, our obsession with looking at ourselves was widespread long before Zoom, and a recent study identifies selfies and filters as the culprits of perception. altered self.

“In the past, people were used to seeing themselves in a mirror, but today people see themselves so much in selfies that they have a distorted view of themselves,” says Steven Dayan, plastic surgeon at face in Chicago. “The sight of yourself in a selfie is the inverted image of what you see in the mirror, which is a completely different image than what we look like in a traditional photo or someone looking at us straight in. the eyes. So there are actually three versions of how we look: the mirror, the selfie, and how other people actually see us. “

The study identified the version that participants found the most appealing: Subjects were asked to look at themselves in a selfie, a filtered selfie, and then a standard photo taken from 5 feet away. When asked to rate each one, each participant chose their filtered selfie. When other people looked at the same photos, the most popular images were those taken from a distance. “We’ve learned that people like their selfies better than natural photos, but other people don’t find selfies as appealing,” says Dr Dayan. The end result is an uphill battle for surgeons, he explains. “The challenge then is to make the patient happy when they want to match a filter, when in reality that doesn’t make it better. “

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