Facing the ‘Zoom Boom’ during a pandemic


The trend has been called the “Zoom Boom.”

As more people stayed at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and held virtual meetings over webcams, more became dissatisfied with the appearance that stared back at them. This has led to an increasing number of plastic surgeries.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported March 30 that once restrictions on non-essential surgery during the pandemic were lifted, the requests for plastic surgery shot up.

“Many surgeons began seeing an influx of patients seeking aesthetic plastic surgery,” said the report. “We believe there were several factors that came together to drive aesthetic surgery even during the pandemic — the boom in video calls and more opportunity for discrete down time.”

Dr. Paula Moynahan, a cosmetic plastic surgeon with offices in Middlebury and New York City, said she definitely has seen a Zoom boom at her practice. Since the pandemic began, she said she’s been busier than ever.

“People are talking about (cosmetic surgery) more,” said Dr. Prasad Sureddi, who has a cosmetic surgery practice in Southbury and New York City.

The context of the work-from-home environment has been partially responsible for the “boom,” explained Sureddi. During Zoom meetings, lighting is different so certain areas of the face are highlighted more. Plus, today’s digital cameras are very advanced and pick up considerably more detail, the doctor said. People are noticing things about their face they had not noticed previously.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Moynahan said she has been performing neck-lifts, facelifts, breast augmentations and other procedures. Rhinoplasty (nose jobs) also has proven popular, as has body contouring.

The face is the biggest focus for cosmetic surgery because that is what people see on the screen during Zoom meetings, Sureddi said. So, for instance, he has seen an increase in eyelid surgery.

Although plastic surgery has proven to be popular recently, Moynahan said minimally invasive (Botox and dermal filler injections) and noninvasive procedures (such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion) also have seen a jump in requests.