“I think that’s sort of the dirty side of social media: the demand for perfection has been squeezed so much, both in the eyes of patients but also us as surgeons, that there’s no room for error,” she says.
Similarly, Dr. Moran cites comparison as the thief of joy, especially when it comes to aesthetics. “I think some patients see examples of people who look perfect and they do compare themselves, whether it’s filtered or not,” she says. “Young people aren’t as able to discern, ‘Hey, wait, that’s maybe that’s not reality.'”
Surgeons’ education has gone digital, too
Continuing education and refining surgical techniques doesn’t stop simply because of a pandemic— like all other industries, plastic surgeons have improvised to keep on keeping on.
“Our organization has gone to a virtual platform, and the number of opportunities to learn online has grown exponentially. A lot of sharing came out of that too,” says Dr. Moran. She’s aware of dozens of surgeon-founded groups within AAFPRS, which surgeons use to swap stories, both positive and negative, and share tips and techniques.
“We’ve really started communicating in ways that we never did before, which is good for everybody,” she says. “Our ability to access the safest, the latest, the greatest, firsthand from other colleagues is benefiting everyone, and it’s happened at this exponential pace.”
More men are seeking surgical intervention
“We absolutely are seeing more and more men coming in for all types of procedures,” says Dr. Somenek, who says he’s seen more men for neck-lifts in the past six months than he ever has before.
And they aren’t interested in non-invasive treatments —they want to go straight to surgery. “Men, almost universally, will choose liposuction over [noninvasive] Kybella because they are not interested in seeing me every month for three to four treatments,” says Dr. Somenek, whose male patients most commonly request submental liposuction around the jawline.
Plastic surgery and aesthetics can really tell you a lot about a culture and an economy, says Dr. Somenek, and the results of the AAFPRS showed just that. According to the report, an estimated 1.4 million surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the past year.
What’s more, plastic surgeons estimated taking on an average of 600 more procedures than they did in 2020. And this 40 percent increase from the number of procedures they performed in 2020, Dr. Maas believes, is conservative. “Overall, I think this report is a very reflective and reasonable assessment of what’s been going on across the country,” agrees Dr. Moran.