Plastic surgeons across the U.S. have seen an increase in their clinics compared to pre-pandemic levels, with almost 30% saying their business has doubled. According to a recent national survey, a significant portion of that demand is being driven by women between the ages of 31 and 45. 

A major motivation appears to be how people feel they look on computer screens during virtual meetings—also known as the “Zoom Effect.“ In addition to wanting to look better, women are also seeking ways to obtain self-care after two years of pandemic restrictions.

The study reported 40% of clients said they would pay anything to feel good about themselves and more confident after the pandemic. Another 42% of surgeons polled said their clients had reallocated travel funds that weren’t used during the pandemic toward cosmetic procedures. Overall, plastic surgery increased by 55%, according to The Aesthetic Society. In the first half of 2021, Americans spent $8.7 billion dollars on various procedures and that number is expected to surge even further.

With so much demand for treatments such as breast augmentation, facelifts, liposuction, and tummy tucks, there is also an increased risk for mistakes or botched procedures.

Chip Cole, MD, FACS, a quadruple-board-certified oculo facial plastic surgeon, says that the No.1 concern for most patient’s is finding the right doctor they can trust, followed by worries of an unnatural outcome. Owner of OCULUS Plastic Surgery in Atlanta, Cole’s goal for those looking to perform plastic surgery is to remove the unnecessary anguish, expense and loss of family time and work often caused by undergoing multiple surgical procedures.

“It’s important that people don’t rush into any type of cosmetic surgery,” says Cole. “When patients don’t ask the right questions, they increase their chances of having unpleasant experiences. More than 50% of my patients have been what I term ‘rescue surgeries.’ Many have undergone five to six procedures by other surgeons before they get referred to me—from all over the country and even abroad. Hopefully, people who are considering surgery will choose wisely. The goal is to encourage prevention by education so people will have their surgery performed correctly the first—and only—time.”

In addition to asking the right questions, Cole recommends patients find specialists who are detail-oriented and willing to adapt to new technology. He acknowledges that very often doctors do not like change and do things based on how they were trained. He notes modern technology “like endoscopes and lasers and advanced surgical skills require continued education and years to master.”

With his signature “InsideOut Facelift,” Cole has allowed individuals to naturally look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside, but with no face or ear scars or other tell-tale signs of facial cosmetic surgery. He adds: “Everyone should have the opportunity to embrace the true power of owning their emotional, creative, and physical expression.”