The Psychological Impact of Remote Communication on Body-Image Perception: Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise.
In recent times the number of requests for teleconsultations with plastic surgeons in private practice (70% in the UK and 64% in the USA) has increased. The correlation between this increase and the concept of "Zoom Boom" changing how we perceive our image is under speculation. However, this could also be linked to the psychological impact of the pandemic on patients' moods. This study investigated the correlation between the pandemic era and seeking cosmetic surgery while focusing on the psychological impact of the pandemic on body-image perception. An anonymous web-based poll was distributed through social networks in Italy and the UK to patients seeking cosmetic surgery. The questions gathered responses on: 1. patient demographics; 2. cosmetic procedures requested; 3. motivations; 4. delays to cosmetic surgery caused by the pandemic; 5. pandemic effects on mood; 6. influence of video conferencing on body-image perception. A total of 159 respondents completed the online poll. Patients were more inclined to undergo cosmetic surgery during the pandemic citing the wish to improve their "lockdown face" (61%) and also the benefits of home recovery during smart working (36%). Eighty-one percent of respondents stated that video conferencing had impacted on their body-image perception, 95% indicated lower mood due to backlogs and surgery delays, while 72% of participants noted declined body-image perception during the pandemic. Data suggest that although video conferencing appears to play a key role in rising requests for cosmetic surgery consultations, a patient's negative self-perception is also likely linked to the psychological impact of the pandemic on mood levels. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE V: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .