On April 27, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) released the 2020 results of its annual trends report, revealing the extent of the pandemic’s ripple effects in reshuffling nearly every aspect of the industry, from toppling the long-standing most-requested surgery to the growing consumer eagerness to spend more on cosmetic procedures in 2021. But one question remains unclear: Will these emerging trends gain momentum and steamroll into 2022, or will the industry snap back into its pre-pandemic, business-as-usual routine?
The total number of procedures declined in 2020
As COVID gripped the nation in early 2020, most states imposed restrictions — and in many cases, a straight up pause — on performing elective surgical procedures in order to free up hospital space and to preserve the dwindling supply of PPE gear for front line workers. During this time, many plastic surgeons shifted to work on the frontlines as well.
The world’s largest plastic surgery organization, clocking in at nearly 8,000 members, reported that they stopped performing elective surgical procedures for an average of 8.1 weeks, or 15 percent of the entire year, resulting in an overall decline in procedures. And the consequences of these sweeping halts nationwide on the aesthetics field need to be kept top of mind to properly evaluate the 2020 findings, says former ASPS president Alan Matarasso.
“You’ve got to remember, in places like New York, we took at least a quarter of the year off, so if you [adjust for] a full year, [the numbers] wouldn’t be that far off,” Matarasso tells Allure.