Cosmetic surgery is said to be booming as the UK gradually eases out of lockdown.
A medic specialising in reconstructive procedures claims he has “never been busier”, with “three months’ worth of work in July alone”.
While non-essential surgeries were postponed at the height of the coronavirus outbreak, Dr Naveen Cavale believes many at-home workers have become self-conscious of their appearance while “staring at themselves on Zoom”.
With Britons still being urged to “stay alert”, a quieter social life may also enable patients to heal discretely, while face masks cover any bruising or swelling, he added.
Rhinoplasties ‘doubling every month’
NHS England suspended all non-urgent surgery for three months from 15 April in a bid to free up staff and hospital beds.
While cosmetic surgery is now free to go ahead, the procedures are not routinely available on the NHS.
“I’m booked out until mid-September and I’m scheduled to do three months’ worth of work in July alone,” said Dr Cavale, who works at Real Plastic Surgery in London.
Rhinoplasties, also known as nose jobs, are said to be particularly popular post-lockdown.
“Since January/February my numbers for average rhinoplasties performed each month has doubled,” said Dr Cavale.
While cosmetic surgery is rarely an impulsive decision, the medic believes lockdown has played a part in the surging demand.
“Reasons for the upswing could include the fact we’re still spending a lot of time at home, meaning there’s more opportunity for discreet downtime post-surgery,” said Dr Cavale.
“Additionally, the wearing of masks can conceal bruising and swelling from procedures, and finally, we’ve all spent the past four months staring at ourselves on Zoom.”
For those considering a cosmetic procedure, the NHS stresses would-be patients must ensure their doctor is listed on the General Medical Council online register.
Some surgeons may also be on a specialist cosmetic surgery register, like the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons or the Royal College of Surgeons: Certified Cosmetic Surgeons.
These might say if a surgeon is qualified or experienced in a particular procedure.
The NHS also stresses patients should always book a consultation with a surgeon ahead of any operation, so they can ask about qualifications, complications and costs.
Dr Cavale has also urged people not to be taken in by “special offers”, as clinics take advantage of the increased demand.
This is echoed by the NHS, which adds people should avoid “treatment vouchers sold online on group discount or voucher sites” and “practitioners who only advertise on social media”.
Prospective patients should also check the hospital or clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission or ask for staff to show the clinic’s certificate, adds the health service.