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Surgeons see uptick in cosmetic procedures amid pandemic 'Zoom boom'

Dr. Suzanne Yee says the pandemic 'opened the floodgates' for cosmetic surgeries — and not just above the neck.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Lately, we've been getting up close and personal more than ever before as Zoom calls and virtual meetings have become the norm. It's why Kellee Mayfield decided it was time for a change.

"I felt as though my face was sliding off the older I was getting," she said. "With this 'Zoom boom,' we're on camera a lot more than we had been in the past."

So, she opted for cosmetic surgery. One procedure she got was a facelift.

"I look like I've had about a 20-year nap," said Mayfield.

She's not the only one opting in on cosmetic procedures. Dr. Suzanne Yee, a cosmetic surgeon in Little Rock, said there has been an uptick in face and body procedures amidst the pandemic. Yee has been doing cosmetic surgeries for decades and says she has seen a big increase in patients due to the 'Zoom boom' and pandemic.

"It just sort of like opened the floodgates," said Dr. Yee. "Patients are coming in for non-surgical things, such as Botox and fillers, as well as calling in to get surgeries."

Yee said the procedures aren't just neck up. Since many are working from home or staying inside more due to the pandemic, body procedures have become more common as people have more freedom to heal in private.

"As people were staying at home, they weren't exercising and they're getting that COVID 15," she said. "Now, they're thinking about getting those tummy tucks and liposuction because they can have their surgeries and go back to work sooner, but recover at home, because they're not having to go into the office."

More time inside during the pandemic has also meant more social media use. That's influencing the uptick in cosmetic procedures as well. People have been posting and sharing about their experiences getting procedures.

"Social media has really decreased the stigma of having cosmetic surgery," she said. "People just seem to be more transparent, and more honest about the things that they're doing."

Mayfield documented her entire experience from beginning to end on the social media site "Real Self," along with thousands of others who also recently got procedures.

"Just to see the results of the before and after, and their stories that they put with it, made a huge difference for me," she said.

Dr. Yee said all those factors have her expecting this boom to continue indefinitely.

"These things have become less taboo and a lot of people expect to talk about them," she said.