The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has released data that shows broad declines in both minimally invasive and surgical cosmetic procedures as a result of pandemic closures in 2020, though differences in how long offices were closed and regional restrictions may have influenced changes.

Botox and soft-tissue fillers remained the most popular overall. But the biggest riser was butt implants, up 22%, from 970 to 1,179. (Implants are what provide volume; a butt lift merely turns a droopy pancake butt into a toned pancake butt.)

Dermatologist Ava Shamban points to homebound stagnation — “modern-day ‘secretary spread,’ or a general flattening of the buttocks”. And let’s not forget Instagram. “Presumably, seeing the higher, tighter rounder assets on social media or any number of reality distractions, had patients researching and ultimately scheduling procedures to give their bottom line a much-needed boost,” she says.

The biggest drop was in hair transplants, which declined 60% since 2019, from more than 24,000 to fewer than 10,000.

Gary Linkov, a facial and hair plastic surgeon in New York, attributes it, in part, to regulatory measures that led to “the decline of ‘turnkey operations’ such as SmartGraft or NeoGraft, where plastic surgeons buy a machine that comes with technicians on demand”.

There was an 8% uptick in breast implant removals in 2020. According to Lisa Cassileth of Cassileth Plastic Surgery and Skincare, implants have a shelf life and will eventually fail. “The population of ageing implants is getting greater every year, so part of this is just a reflection of the boom we have had in implants over the years.”

For patients who have been contemplating implant removal for years, more downtime and remote work environments were motivating factors as well.

Bloomberg News. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.