Demand for cosmetic surgery has increased during the Covid-19 lockdowns, according to doctors.
They believe people constantly attending online meetings on apps like Zoom for the last year are becoming worried about their appearance.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) has warned that “unscrupulous” cosmetic surgery providers are cashing in on a post-pandemic “Zoom boom” by convincing patients into panic buying ‘quick fix’ procedures.
“People couldn’t go on holiday, they couldn’t do much, really,” says London plastic surgeon Patrick Mallucci. “So, many instead decided to spend that money on themselves. To treat something.”
BAAPS, which reported seeing a “massive upswing” of 100% in demand for virtual consultations during lockdown, has issued Triple Lock Guidelines to help safeguard patients in these challenging times. However it has been extremely concerned to find that some cosmetic surgery clinics are not following safety guidelines.
In a recent survey of twenty non-BAAPS cosmetic clinics, 75 per cent didn’t insist on a face-to-face consult with the usually mandatory “cooling off “period.
On top of that, 85 per cent did not insist on any “cooling off” period at all, despite this being a mandatory requirement of good medical practice by the General Medical Council.
More worryingly, some clinics even admitted that no face to face was required with a surgeon before cosmetic surgery took place.
The association is pleading with the public not to fall for dodgy tactics and money-off deals, as they do not give them the required period of at least 14 days between an in clinic (or online) consultation and the procedure being done.
Mary O’Brien, the BAAPS president, says: “the reality of surgery and aftercare that should not be lost in a virtual world. It’s about delivering real care to real people to improve psychological and physical wellbeing. Surgery is not a pandemic pick me up.”