Why the Pandemic Has Fueled a Cosmetic Surgery Boom

Via Peters

Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

JOHN WHYTE, MD: Welcome, everyone. You’re watching Coronavirus in Context. I’m Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer at WebMD.

And I’m delighted to have a very special guest today: My good friend, Dr. Drew Ordon, host of The Doctors. Dr. Ordon, thanks for joining me today. It’s great to see you again.

DREW ORDON, MD: Always a pleasure, John. You know I never say no to John Whyte.

JOHN WHYTE: Well, thank you.

You know, last time we talked, we discussed this concept of Zoom fatigue. That, and Zoom dysmorphia, that people were not seeing a true picture of themselves by staring at themselves all day. They were getting rhinoplasty, nose surgery, other types of procedures. But now there’s this discussion out there around — and we really have a lot of mental health issues that are going on. People have a lot of anxiety, depression, PTSD.

And one of the things that we’re trying to address is: How do we help people feel good about themselves? So, you’re a world-renowned plastic surgeon. You talk to people all the time about appearance in your clinical practice. What are you hearing, and what are you talking about to patients to help them feel good about themselves? And one component of it is physical appearance, as well as their mental outlook.

DREW ORDON: It is. Well, John, I mean, COVID has hit literally every aspect of our lives, and you alluded to the Zoom boom, people spending more time virtually on screen, just like we are now, looking at themselves, analyzing themselves: “I don’t like this wrinkle,” “I don’t like these bags,” “I don’t like that double chin,” whatever. They saw them, and they focused on it, and that encouraged them to go see a plastic surgeon and make changes so that they would look better on-screen.

And now, we’re years into this COVID thing, and the mental aspects really have surfaced to the top, is one of probably the biggest issues that are bothering people. Anxiety, and depression, and just feeling funky about life in general. And you are right-on, that if we’re more comfortable in our skin — no pun intended — if we’re more comfortable with the way we look, it helps our mental well-being.

In fact, there are studies that have shown that Botox has reduced depression symptoms in people, just by making them look better — fewer wrinkles, more refreshed, that they have less depression symptoms. So that’s now — with Zoom boom, now we’re in — that people want to give themselves a little bit of a mental boost, and they’re coming to make physical changes.

JOHN WHYTE: But is it a double-edged sword? Because some people could argue, “Well, hey, Dr. Ordon, if people are too consumed about their physical appearance, that might make them more depressed, and not everyone can afford to be able to actually have surgery as opposed to other type of products.” So where is the fine line there?

I’m sure a lot of people are thinking about, “Oh, I know someone that went overboard on plastic surgery.” And we all know celebrities around that. So where do you balance? You want to look better, and feel better, but at the same time, if you focus too much on your physical appearance and things — some things you can’t change. That’s going to make matters worse.

DREW ORDON: It’s a little bit of a fine line, and that’s the balance. And talking about social media. I worry about the Teams. There’s so much content on there. People are morphing pictures, people are changing their appearance via Photoshop, or whatever, and it’s influencing younger people, teenagers, adolescents, to go to pretty drastic measures, potentially plastic surgery at too early of an age.

But John, it comes down to — with plastic surgery, deciding to make a change in your appearance, you’ve got to be doing it for the right reasons.

JOHN WHYTE: What are you seeing a lot of nowadays? Is it primarily things relating to the face? And I’ve got to ask you, because we kind of alluded to this on our last call: Is it different for men vs. women, in terms of what they’re coming in with?

DREW ORDON: Well, we’re seeing both. We’re seeing both face and body. And the face, maybe it’s because we’re seeing more of ourselves on screen. So that’s where the face comes into play more. But in terms of the body, I mean, mommy makeovers, liposuction, that Brazilian butt lift is still very, very popular.

JOHN WHYTE: What’s the daddy makeovers?

DREW ORDON: More men all the time coming in for Botox, for fillers as well. Men for laser treatments. We’ve got a laser for everything: skin tightening, addressing wrinkles, addressing discolorations, red spots, brown spots. The next area, more invasive, men, they don’t like that extra fat they may be carrying in the chest. Men, we get it. The abdomen. Less the hips and thighs like women do. So liposuction very, very popular with men.

The way we do liposuction now, it’s really high-definition lipo-sculpting, that we can really sculpt the abdomen to give you definition, external obliques, give you some definition to the muscles, so it’s evolved quite a bit.

A lot of men are opting to have their eyelids done. They don’t like the tags on the lower lids, and the skin and the uppers, and then a lot of men, that necks start sagging. They want to do something about it.

JOHN WHYTE: So there is a role for plastic surgery to help our physical health, which can also impact our mental health in both good and bad ways.

I want to ask you, I mentioned you’re the host of The Doctors. You’ve been with The Doctors for a long time. What do you got coming up over the next few weeks?

DREW ORDON: OK, so well, the holidays are behind us. We’re back in the studio this week, the second half of season 14. I’m the host. We, of course, bring in a lot of great guests and co-hosts, like yourself, John Whyte. You’ve been with us, and it’s always a pleasure to have you.

But more of the same. The updates on COVID. That’s always changing. Where we’re always dealing with the mental illness aspects particularly, what’s going on during COVID, as you alluded to.

And we continue — we’re doing more stuff on physical fitness, nutrition.

We want to be the best that we can be. We’re talking — I know that you are huge into preventive medicine. That is one of your big things.

JOHN WHYTE: It’s time for self-care. That’s what we all need to be doing now. Yeah.

DREW ORDON: Well, the self-care, it counts also when it comes to your appearance, and all the things that you and I both advocate for your overall health. We know the big ones: It’s diet, exercise, getting good sleep, trying to maintain a healthy weight. I think those are the big four, and they tie in to your appearance.

If you are doing all those things, eating your fruits and vegetables, and hydrating, and dealing with your stress, getting a good night’s sleep, exercising, it shows on your body, and helps your complexion. It helps your skin tone, all of that.

So that’s just something that you should be doing for your overall health. It improves. It helps every system in the body, including our skin and how we look.

JOHN WHYTE: Dr. Ordon, host of The Doctors. It’s always great to see you. Thank you for spending time with us today.

DREW ORDON: John, you’re the best. Really enjoy it. Good information, and I’m sure I’ll see you soon.

JOHN WHYTE: If you have questions for Dr. Ordon or me, feel free to drop me a line. You can email me at [email protected]

Thanks for watching.

This interview originally appeared on WebMD on January 28, 2022

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