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COVID-19 Pandemic Increases Demand for Cosmetic Procedures

August 4, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
Cosmetic surgery Wikimedia Commons)

As COVID-19 lockdown orders have lifted and many individuals are returning to social activities, cosmetic surgeons across the country are seeing an increase in the demand for cosmetic procedures.

“I’ve never seen a jump this high, most practices do get busier and it’s pretty predictable, but this has been such a rapid spike,” said Praful Ramineni, a private practice surgeon at District Plastic Surgery.

Ramineni has been a surgeon for over 15 years, and he said that following the lockdown orders last March and April there was a major uptick in the demand for cosmetic services offered at his practice that has continued to increase.

He has seen a 100% increase in demand for aesthetic surgeries, such as tummy tucks or Botox, and a 50% increase in demand for transgender surgeries, such as vaginoplasty or facial surgery.

“It’s probably doubled in terms of new consults,” said Ramineni. 

Due to the unexpected spike in the demand for cosmetic procedures last summer, the practice hit a backlog of about 150 patients. Ramineni canceled office hours for several weeks and stopped seeing new patients to try to catch up.

At that time, supplies in the office were limited due to the pandemic and cost more to order. 

“We had to hire more staff, and I am looking to hire another partner, but there are a lot of practices in the country that are overwhelmed and looking,” said Ramineni.

Ramineni said that mask wearing and remote work are the two main reasons why there has been such an uptick in the demands for cosmetic procedures. 

He said patients are able to recover from surgical procedures in the comfort of their home without having to take off work and can hide any facial surgeries, such as a chin liposuction surgery, which can cause bruising and swelling, with a face mask.

The pandemic has also led to a more sedentary life for many of his patients, leading to increases in the demand for tummy tucks.

“Patients are home, they have time, they are not spending money on vacationing, or going out to eat, and have more disposable income, and [are] planning to get their bodies ready for when things fully reopen,” said Ramineni.

The practice has now resumed seeing new patients having caught up on the backlog, but patients seeking services are often still having to wait six months or longer to get the procedure due to the increased demand. 

Prior to the pandemic, on average Ramineni performed about 15 surgeries each week, but he is now doing 20 surgeries a week, and hoping there will be a lull to catch up on procedures, so patients don’t have to wait six to seven months for their surgery.

“Most surgeons thought there would be a big drop in surgery, and when we started seeing this bump we started understanding the reason why. The general vibe of the pandemic is that we never know what will happen tomorrow, and so why shouldn’t we be happy today,”  said Ramineni.

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