The UAE’s plastic surgery business skyrocketed in 2020, as unprecedented demand for nip and tucks grew among remote workers taking advatage of coronavirus lockdowns, two specialists in the field told Al Arabiya English.
Attributed to remote workers, and residents under lockdown taking advantage of having cosmetic enhancements, patients could “disguise their treatments as they recovered at home,” they said.
Dr Maurizio Viel, a plastic surgeon based at Dubai-based London Center for Aesthetic Surgery, said that while most clinics shut during the tough restrictions during March and April, when clinics started opening in May, he witnessed a huge demand for treatments.
“In the early part of May, when we reopened for non-surgical treatments, we were surprised by the demand for botox and fillers,” he said. “Surgery was then allowed by mid-May, and we really saw a huge demand for surgical procedures - and we still have a waiting list.”
A lockdown surge
Dr Sanjay Parashar from the UAE’s Cocoona center for Aesthetic Transformation and Chairman of the Scientific Emirates Plastic Surgery Society, has also experienced an upward trend in the number of procedures sought.
“Working from home gave people time to consider plastic surgery privately and has contributed in demand,” Dr Parashar said. “But, almost 95 percent of our patients consider it for a while and make a plan.”
The most common non-surgical procedures include; botox, fillers, facial rejuvenation and lasers, with a surge in demand for liposuction, tummy tuck, blepharoplasty and breast augmentation, Dr Viel said.
Pre-COVID work and personal commitments restricted people access to plastic surgery.
The lack of international travel, and working from home, left many with the spare time to consider treatments, Dr Viel said. Cosmetic procedures became affordable using money originally set aside for travel, he noted.
“Our clinic has been fully booked for months, including the summer, which is normally quiet,” he said.
Another trend witnessed by Dr Viel last year involved people wanting to look good for Zoom meetings.
The 'Zoom boom'
“Many people realized they don’t like the way they looked on Zoom,” he said. “We have seen patients come in about their droopy eyelids, lines on their faces, thinning lips, double chins and noses, and much more.”
Both Dr Viel and Dr Parashar said they expect cosmetic surgery trends to do well through 2021.