Let’s face it, pandemic times are weird and scary. Yes, some are dealing with major health issues. COVID dominates the news and the vast majority are trying to stay safe while socially distancing and wearing masks. As we sit at home, some are starting to think about the possibility of using this time in a way they may not have considered before.
As we look into 2021 and read exciting news about viable vaccinations, we can start to daydream about a time in the hopefully-near-future when Zoom meetings will give way to in-person gatherings, masks will become a memory, and we will say goodbye to social distancing. Some are acutely aware that right now, masks and Zoom hide a lot of things we’ve been happy to keep covered up. When we can all reemerge, many people are hoping to look and feel better than ever.
“As medical professionals, we have not promoted cosmetic surgery since many people have had to deal with so many challenges during these unusual and difficult times,” says Dr. Phillip Langsdon of The Langsdon Clinic in Memphis. “However, many individuals have surprised us by seeking cosmetic surgery in unprecedented numbers.”
Dr. Don Griffin of Nashville Cosmetic Surgery agrees, having experienced the same rise in interest for his services. “We respect the fact that so many are facing an uncertain future, and cosmetic surgery is a luxury purchase,” he says. “At the same time, we have found that many people are taking advantage of [the] downtime to focus on self-care and self-improvement.”
If you have toyed with the idea of cosmetic surgery in the past, here are four reasons why now may be the perfect time.
1. Time to Heal
Working from home, minimal socializing, and restricted travel have freed up time for both cosmetic procedures and the healing period that follows. In fact, without their usual social or work schedules, patients have found it much easier to fit recovery time into their plans. According to Dr. Griffin, mothers, in particular, have found it a great time to pursue cosmetic procedures since spouses are home to tend to the children while they heal, and the kids themselves have far fewer outings that require Mom as a chauffeur.
In addition to having help during the healing period, Dr. Lauren Yarholar of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine points out that a less busy schedule, which allows for a more peaceful recovery period, is beneficial to the body’s healing ability as well. “A normal schedule of activities often leads to the stress, swelling and inflammation that delays healing,” she explains. “Rest and recovery at home alleviate stress, and the pandemic is ensuring that we have plenty of time at home.”
2. Canceled Travel Plans = Newly Available Funds
The pandemic has brought much of “regular life” to a screeching halt, and that includes travel plans. Prior to the pandemic, people may have been saving for a dream vacation or a major event. But with those types of activities put on hold for the time being, the money that was put aside for them is now available for other purposes, and for many people, cosmetic surgery is where they are choosing to spend those dollars.
“I’ve had patients tell me that they saved up for a big trip or a special event,” Dr. Griffin explains. “Now that they can’t go, they want to use the money to improve the way they look and feel.”
3. Time to Reflect
With all of the time we’re spending at home and living scaled-back, slowed-down lives, the opportunity has availed itself to refocus and hone in on the things that are most important in our lives. Whether that’s re-evaluating where you live, where you work or where you want to improve yourself, both inside and out, there is a renewed desire to focus on the things that bring the most joy. “Many people have told me that they’ve put off self-improvement, but the pandemic has also given them more time to think about what they might like to improve,” shares Dr. Langsdon. “A focus on self-care has been a positive effect during the challenge of the pandemic.”
As a result, people are opting to get cosmetic procedures that provide a positive and lasting impact. “When you feel your best, you can offer others the best,” adds Dr. Yarholar. “That includes tiny changes that make you look and feel refreshed and the larger changes that you may have been considering.”
4. The Value of Virtual Medicine
Since the onset of the pandemic, telehealth and virtual medicine have been on the rise for everything from mental health visits to cosmetic surgery consultations. Patients can interact with their healthcare professional from the comfort of home, which is an added point of interest for many people who are considering plastic surgery. “I’ve said jokingly that quarantining is an introvert’s dream, and now that telehealth consultations are becoming even more viable, people can discuss their options for cosmetic surgery from the comfort of their own home,” says Dr. Yarholar. “And as long as there are no issues, post-operative appointments can be done via telehealth as well.” Of course, physicians will want to see you face-to-face before scheduling the surgery, she adds, but telehealth consults are a great jumping-off point.
It’s worth noting that if you’re spending copious amounts of time on teleconferences, it’s easy to get consumed by perceived flaws in your own appearance, but be cautioned. “People are seeing two things on Zoom. One is close-up image distortion,” explains Dr. Langsdon of the “fish eye” effect that a cell phone lens can have. “Second, they are paying more attention to themselves than they normally would. In the second case, they are noticing things that they were too busy to notice before in the rush of getting ready to go to work in the mornings — those are the self-improvements that are worth considering.”
Finally, it’s important to remember that plastic surgery is not a quick fix and works best when accompanied by realistic goals and a healthy lifestyle. “My goal with every patient is to enhance what is already there to restore their confidence and a sense of well-being,” Dr. Griffin concludes. “The happier you are with yourself, the greater your positive impact on others.”
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