COVID-19 pandemic causes boom in plastic surgery

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Wearing a mask means people are now concentrating on eyes to read facial expressions obscured by face coverings.

And, it turns out, some people aren't happy with what others are seeing in their eyes.

"We've had a lot more inquiries about things like upper eyelid surgery. That's one thing that's a quick procedure with an easy recovery, and it can make a huge impact in the way that you look especially when all people see is your eyes," said Dr. Alexandra Schmidt, a cosmetic surgeon at Blue Water Plastic Surgery.

Like a lot of cosmetic surgery practices around the nation, Blue Water is seeing more new patients than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Schmidt.

She cited several pandemic-related reasons, "One of the big things is people are very busy on Zoom calls and they're seeing themselves on camera and they're noticing every little detail of their aging and fullness under their jawline. So we've seen a lot of increased demand for chin liposuction and jawline contouring procedures."

Schmidt said many who are working from home also have realized they can now have privacy for recovery. When they do have to go out, wearing the mask helps to cover areas that are healing.

But time and money are also a factor.

"We've had a lot of patients who say that they're unable to plan vacations and getaways and instead of spending money on traveling, they're spending money on themselves and making improvements that they never had time to do before because it interfered with their life when you have a recovery period," Schmidt said.

Many of the practice's new patients are women with children.

"Moms especially feel like this is a great time to go ahead and have the 'mommy makeover' they've always wanted because they have a spouse who's at home and able to help with childcare," Schmidt said.

Schmidt said patients are also reassured by Blue Waters' sanitation and screening practices which, she said, go above and beyond CDC pandemic guidelines.

Despite what some may think, the surgeon said in the end cosmetic surgery isn't all about vanity.

"When you invest in yourself and your appearance, it always pays off because when people look good they feel better and it completely changes the interactions that they have with other people."

And that, she says, can be helpful both personally and professionally.
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