What’s possibly the most interesting element of the cosmetic surgery industry is what goes on behind the scenes of these procedures. What surgeries are people opting for most? How much are they spending? Why have certain procedures gained more popularity lately?
From advancing technologies to social media filters combined with the increased amount we see ourselves on screen since the start of the pandemic, a lot has contributed to the continually rising demand for cosmetic surgeries and the growing societal acceptance surrounding them.
So, we thought it’d be interesting to dive a little deeper into these questions, and spoke with experienced plastic surgeon Dr. Arko Demianczuk and Beautifi Founder and CEO Ryan Brinkhurst for some intriguing behind-the-knife information.
What’s gaining popularity?
Founded by Brinkhurst, Beautifi is a Vancouver-based, financial lending technology company that connects Canadians with top surgeons and doctors and helps to fund their elective procedures through monthly payment plan options. With a background in finance, Brinkhurst saught to start a company wherein finance or obtaining a loan wasn’t approached as something elite or out of reach. And while he came into the space with lots of finance and technology knowledge, Brinkhurst has found some stats to come as a surprise.
“Not only women are looking for plastic surgery procedures. Initially, we assumed there’d be about 5% of men,” Brinkhurst tells Daily Hive. “We’re seeing closer to nearly 20% men who are looking for a doctor or looking for financing and I think on a broader level, that just speaks to cosmetic procedures being less taboo. Whether male or female, it’s now more widely accepted to undergo a procedure in order to look and feel like your best self — and Beautifi is proud to give more men and women the ability and access to do this.”
As for procedures, Beautifi clients are opting for most — you could say that it’s a couple of things: “60% of [our] loan applicants are looking for breast augmentation finance options,” says Brinkhurst. “Second to that is a ‘mommy makeover,’ which is a mix of different procedures, such as a tummy tuck and breast augmentation at the same time. That’s followed closely by rhinoplasty, or [what is] more commonly known as a nose job.” Brinkhurst says that these three procedure types make up for more than 80% of Beautifi’s loan applicants.
Dr. Demianczuk himself, as a plastic surgeon based in Vancouver who performs both facial aesthetic surgery and body contouring, sees a wide range of trends as well. Since the start of COVID-19, however, he’s noticed some pandemic-specific ones. “From the non-surgical side, with mask-wearing over the last two years our lip filler business has diminished to fewer lip fillers, but more upper facial injectables,” says Dr. Demianczuk. “People are much more interested in doing things like botox or forehead lines or the number 11’s between their eyes.”
Another new phenomenon in the cosmetic surgery world that’s continuing to shake up the industry and gain favour — the fat transfer. “Fat transfer is an interesting idea, it’s a newer idea where we’re able to move fat from one part of [the] body to a different part of the body,” he explains. Yet Dr. Demianczuk claims that the infamous Brazilian butt lift we hear about is rarely ever done, as it’s a fairly high-risk surgery, “But one of the things that is being done more of is fat transfer to the breast,” he says. Dr. Demianczuk claims that especially in a city like Vancouver, where our cosmetic surgery style typically ranges on the more conservative side, this procedure offers the more inconspicuous change that many are looking for, hence its popularity.
How much are people spending?
One thing all these procedures have in common? While they range in cost — none of them are to be considered cheap. “What we’re seeing is our average applicant has just over $4,000 in gross monthly income, and our average approved individual has a credit score in the high 600s,” says Brinkhurst. So, while the average Beautifi client is doing okay financially, in no way does it mean you have to be the next Elon Musk to afford a surgery.
The size of the loans they’re taking out for these various procedures? Brinkhurst says this number sits at just over $12,000, on which payments are typically made at $274 a month. Beautifi offers Canadians loans starting at anywhere from $1,500 up to over $25,000. Clients can choose to pay the loan off in as little as six months, or up to six years, and applying doesn’t affect applicants’ credit scores. Clients can use the plastic surgery loan calculator as a first step to determine the best financing solution that works best for their budget.
What’s contributing to the trends?
Dr. Demianczuk has found that presently, we’re way more attentive to how we look than we once were.”I think also that a lot of people may get a false perception of what they really look like in the real world because of how our cameras are,” says Dr. Demianczuk. “We use so many Zoom or Microsoft Team meetings. And, typically the cameras are poor quality and the lighting is terrible, and then you’re like, ‘Wow, do I really look like that?'”
He also mentions that we need to consider the role of makeup and lighting when we make these judgements and that social media and the filters used on it can often do more to one’s appearance than even surgery can. “Many people will use filters when they use social media to provide the best possible version of themselves,” says Dr. Demianczuk. “That is really shaking up the cosmetic surgery industry because people will come in with images of themselves that are their projected best self and try to achieve those results.”
And like with most things in these past two years, the pandemic lifestyle has provided shelter to obstacles that once deterred people from receiving surgeries. Recovering from a procedure is often the greatest deterrent to getting one, as rest is required and typically, people would rather keep the immediate aftermath under wraps.
“Historically, people would need to take a week [to] maybe two weeks off. And now they’re working from home much more, so people are getting things done because their recovery time is substantially reduced,” says Dr. Demianczuk. “They can continue to work from home, work with their camera off for that week and a half of recovery, and no one knows.”
Brinkhurst saw the same from his Beautifi clients, with a rise in people wanting to get rhinoplasty (nose job) procedures done before mask mandates were lifted. “Multiple people [were] saying, ‘I want to get it done now so I can wear my mask every day and then when I take the mask off, people will not notice,'” he says. “We’ve heard from many clients about the world reopening and they’re going back to work and getting back in the public eye. I think one of the big factors is mental health and how people feel about themselves.”
All this combined has led to a higher demand than there are surgeons available in the operating room, according to Brinkhurst — and as one of those surgeons, Dr. Demianczuk urges that if you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, do your research and check your doctor’s credentials.
To learn more about Beautifi, visit their website at beautifi.com.