In 2020, cosmetic surgery is booming. But here's what you need to know before you jump on board.

The pandemic has changed how humans look. Our faces have never been more covered, and yet we've seemingly never been more concerned with how they look. 

In 2020, there has been a significant boom in cosmetic services. In fact, one doctor said his clinic saw a 300 per cent increase in inquiries for facelifts and rhinoplasty during Australia's first lockdown period.

In May, Mamamia spoke with Dr Naomi McCullum who runs cosmetic clinic The Manse in Sydney. She explained the increased demand for procedures for the face, neck and eyes comes from people having spent a lot of time looking at their face in lockdown. 

“We have gained a lot of new patients. I think a lot of people spent quarantine on Zoom, checking out the mirror, and googling cosmetic procedures,” Dr Naomi told Mamamia.

Mamamia's daily news podcast 'The Quicky' also spoke to Dr Amiri Sanki from the Board Member of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, who confirms the demands for these procedures has increased dramatically this year. 

"COVID has been a really interesting, introspective time for people and that introspection has brought them to looking at their own health and how they're looking and feeling," Dr Sanki explains.

"I think people are actively trying to feel better during lockdown and part of that is plastic surgery because plastic surgery is a way for people to feel more confident... and to help people focus on their emotional happiness and wellbeing."

Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia's daily news podcast. Post continues below. 

But Dr. Sanki adds that people, especially those in their teens and early 20s, need to be aware of the potential risks and should ensure they are receiving the right advice. 

"A properly qualified and trained injectables practitioner will appropriately steer a person towards the best treatment to maintain their health and beauty," Dr Sanki explains. "So women in their teens and 20s should really just be looking at photoaging and pollution prevention with good lifestyle and good skin care. I would say that it is probably a bit too young to start surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Women in their 30s and 40s can introduce injectables and peels, and women in their 50s and 60s are starting to look at surgical options. But there are no fixed rules, and the key is to offer what is most appropriate to the patient."  

It is easy to be misled by even the name of a 'cosmetic surgeon'. In Australia, any registered medical practitioner can call themselves a 'cosmetic surgeon' even if they have no surgical qualification or no specialist training.

But Dr Sanki says there is simple way for patients to know if someone is properly qualified in this area. 


"That is a really simple thing to look for, a plastic surgeon has the five letters after their name, FRACS specifically in plastic surgery," Dr Sanki explains. "So the FRACS is the diploma that's awarded by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons that actually says you're a surgeon, and it is a protected title, it is the only title recognised by the medical boards of Australia."

Watch: A Mamamia employee asks a cosmetic surgeon how they should change their face. Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia

She adds the best way to prevent regret is to make an informed decision from the start. 

"Within the surgical space, 90 per cent of cosmetic surgery patients would choose a non-accredited surgeon because they feel that they're going to pay less. But when they look back in hindsight, eighty per cent say that the title of cosmetic surgeon implies that a doctor is a registered specialist, and if they had known better that the person wasn't properly qualified, they wouldn't have gone ahead with the procedure."

Dr Sanki adds that the procedure should be treated like any other medical process - with care and consideration.

"There are many highly qualified and experienced injectors working in beauty salons and clinics, but the important message here is for patients to understand that they are having a medical procedure. They're not clients, they're patients," Dr Sanki explains. "And the best way to have this procedure safely is to know the difference between a non-surgical sweatshop that is pumping through patients, and a proper medical practitioner who has been trained in injectables, has good experience, has taken a full history and examination, explained expectations, risks and alternatives to the procedure."

Indeed, while the industry is booming, many of the risks associated remain.

Feature image: Getty. 

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