Rise in demand for plastic surgery, cosmetic procedures in Bengaluru

With a drop in the number of COVID-19 cases, people who had put off elective procedures are consulting plastic surgeons

Plastic surgeons in the city are seeing a sharp rise in the number of consultations over the past few weeks, with most clients booking appointments for procedures after January 1. Hospital managements, which had recorded a drastic but expected drop in appointments since March 2020 owing to the pandemic, say there appears to be a reversal of the trend.

Most of the patients had put off elective procedures as they are ‘cosmetic in nature’ and could be postponed. Gunasekar Vuppalapati, chief plastic surgeon, GVG Invivo Hospital, said that they were seeing a demand for procedures such as hair transplants, rhinoplasty, body sculpting, fat reduction, breast reduction and augmentation. Besides this, Dr. Vuppalapati said that there is a huge demand for botox, filler and facial makeovers. “Last month, we were were doing three procedures a week, but since January 1, we have been booked for three procedures every day,” he said While doctors resumed non-aesthetic and surgical practice from November 2020, the surge in demand was from January 1.

All precautions for COVID-19 are in place, as though the number of cases in the city has dropped, the virus, especially the U.K. strain, is a cause for concern. “We are taking all the COVID-19 precautions in the OPD for the quick in and out procedures such as botox, fillers, and non-surgical body sculpting. We are getting a COVID-19 antigen test for local anaesthesia surgeries and RT-PCR for the general anaesthesia procedures for the safety of our staff and to prevent any cross infection,” Dr. Vuppalapati added.

The sudden demand for cases has surprised surgeons who said they did not anticipate people requesting such procedures until the vaccine was out. According to Aditya Patil, consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Sagar Hospitals, Jayanagar, at one point, many plastic surgeons wanted to go back to reconstruction surgeries rather than depend on cosmetic procedures alone as they were not getting clients.

Over the past few days, however, he has been doing around two to three consultations per day. “People are keen on undergoing cosmetic surgeries now as the number of COVID-19 cases is low and many professionals have work from home options till mid-2021. This gives them the opportunity to recuperate post the surgery or procedure,” said Dr. Patil, but added that they are yet to pick up to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Madhusudan G., lead and senior consultant, plastic surgery, Aster CMI Hospital, said that in the last couple of weeks, they had seen a 10% increase in the number of people opting for elective surgeries. “This rise is owing to fears that a second wave of COVID-19 may occur in the coming months. People have now started coming forward to get their elective plastic surgeries done while the virus spread is restricted,” he said.

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