The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) recently conducted a member survey to highlight which procedures patients want to get to first when their doctor’s offices reopen. So, what’s first on the list of treatments once we do make it back into our doctor’s offices safely? According to the ASPS survey, botulinum toxin, breast augmentations, fillers, liposuction and tummy tucks round out the top-five list.
To find out which treatments patients are already getting in their doctors’ offices, we asked top surgeons across the country to share which procedures are trending during these first few weeks back after reopening. And while they match up with the survey’s finding, we’re also hearing how much Zoom meetings, the quarantine-15 and masks have also had an effect on the general interest in the type of procedures and surgeries one might undergo post-pandemic.
During consultations, in addition to his often-requested Mommy Makeover, tummy tuck, breast augmentation and facial surgeries, Pasadena, CA plastic surgeon Martin O’Toole, MD says the number-one thing his patients are asking him about are safety and sterility. “First and foremost, patients are asking if we are following all of the CDC recommendations for screening, testing and distancing. They also want to know about the sterilization protocols we are using in the office and in the surgery center.”
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Injectables: Botox + Filler
“Most of our patients, the majority of our practice, were just anxious to get in for their Botox and filler,” says Scottsdale, AZ facial plastic surgeon James Bouzoukis, MD. Also citing neurotoxin injections high on the list were Newport Beach, CA plastic surgeon Goretti Ho Tahgva, MD and New York plastic surgeon Mokhtar Asaadi, MD. “During quarantine most of my patients were missing their nonsurgical treatments like Botox Cosmetic, hyaluronic acid fillers, HydraFacial treatments, and in-office skin-care treatments,” adds Dr. Asaadi.
Zoom-Inspired Facial Treatments
Laguna Woods, CA facial plastic surgeon Cory Yeh, MD says Zoom has made his patients more aware of changes in the face and that’s the first thing they want to address now when going back into the office: “I found that many of my patients were concerned about the aging features of their eyes. Many people were conducting multiple Zoom calls and discovered that features of their eyes such as droopy upper eyelids or tired appearing, hollow under-eyes were becoming more obvious. Patients were contacting our office to consult about treatment options for these issues.”
Chicago plastic surgeon Michael Byun, MD finds it fascinating what Zoom conference calls has done for facial aesthetics. “It is very interesting, we’ve had so many patients call who want to improve their faces. Why? Zoom!,” he says. “They say you can see more of aging in the video mercilessly. Double chins and hanging necks can be visualized in a more dramatic way. The corners of the mouth appear to hang, which can make you look unhappy or angry when you look down on the camera. Zoom culture is adding another pressure for many to look better in a different way than before the pandemic. We saw a surge of requests in May and June of many patients who’d considered a facelift, rhinoplasty, necklift and eye surgery. They have more time to stay home to recover and can cover up their faces with masks so no one will see any bruising or swelling.”
“Over the past several months people have been limited to the activities they could do since we’ve been in quarantine and eating more on top of that, people started coming in for body contouring procedures such as liposuction to help with the extra weight gain in certain places,” says Houston plastic surgeon German Newall, MD.
According to Atlanta plastic surgeon Carmen M. Kavali, MD, the added advantages from working from home helped boost consultations for procedures working moms. “The Mommy Makeover consults came because moms were now able to work from home and had more potential time to recover before going back to the office,” Dr. Kavali says.
Chicago plastic surgeon Peter Geldner, MD says eyelid surgery is one of his top requests, mainly due to how patients are seeing themselves on-screen more. “Although facelifts are also an option, the relatively quick recovery and dramatic improvements of blepharoplasty makes this surgical treatment a great option. I’ve noticed that more men are now asking for eyelid improvement and this has been a welcome shift in patient preference.”
Dr. Asaadi says that he’s seen a surge in festoon corrections, especially in patients who had a surgery already booked prior to the pandemic. Those who had to wait were eager to get back into the office to treat their eye area as soon as possible since the frequent use of mask put the eye area in the spotlight.
For Dr. Taghva’s patients, the onset of constant mask-wearing in our future is serving as a bonus for a more discreet recuperation: “As for surgical procedures, a lot of my patients want to get their rhinoplasties done to take advantage of the fact that most people are wearing face masks anyways—it’s the perfect time to recover!
“Inquiries relating liposuction and nonsurgical fat reduction like CoolSculpting may well be influenced by weight gain secondary to stay-at-home orders,” notes New York plastic surgeon David Rapaport, MD. “Of course the other issue relating to quarantine is that people have a lot of time to look at themselves in the mirror.”