Video work meetings, lives and more time on social media during the Covid-19 pandemic made people look more at their own image — and many didn’t like what they saw on screen.
The result has been a surge in demand for rhinoplasty, plastic surgery on the nose. It’s called the “Zoom effect”, in reference to one of the most famous videoconferencing programs.
The operation is performed on the nasal structure to improve aesthetics and/or correct nose dysfunctions (septum deviation, for example) and has become a fever among many influencers.
In early August, country singer Mariano and model Jakelyne, a couple formed in the reality “A Fazenda 12” (Record), posted photos of post-surgery rhinoplasty performed on the same day on their networks. Actresses Cleo Pires, Bruna Marquezine and singers Anitta and Ludmilla have also gone through the procedure.
In private groups on social networks, one of them with 88,000 people, mostly young women, “before and after” photos are posted, with the names of the surgeons and values. Prices range from R$7,000 to R$40,000, depending on the region of the country, the professional and the hospital costs involved.
The increase in demand for the procedure is not exclusive to Brazil. Last year, rhinoplasty topped the ranking of the International Society of Plastic Surgery (Isaps) for the first time, displacing breast augmentation in the United States.
Although there is no consolidated data for 2020 on the number of nose jobs in the Brazilian market — in 2019, there were 72,433 —, professionals interviewed by sheet say the trend is the same as in the US. A search on Google Trends, for example, shows that in the last year there was an increase of up to 4,800% in searches for the term “rhinoplasty” compared to the previous five years.
A census carried out last year with 120 out of 900 otolaryngologists who work with facelifts shows rhinoplasty as the champion among procedures, with 739 surgeries per month. Considering this average for all professionals, it would be 66,504 per year.
According to the otolaryngologist and facial surgeon Mário Ferraz, president of the ABCPF (Brazilian Academy of Plastic Surgery of the Face) and responsible for the census, many people started using more cell phone screens during the pandemic and, thus, paying more attention to the details of the pandemic. face.
“The cell phone camera causes an image distortion that can reach 40%. The nose looks bigger. This makes a lot of people desperate,” he says.
Many, however, were already dissatisfied with their noses before the pandemic and took advantage of the moment of social distancing to perform the surgery.
This is the case of the nutriologist Luciane Américo Mangullo, 34, from Sorocaba (SP), who has not liked the nose since childhood (“it was big, had a hump, it was very ugly”). But, for fear of having plastic surgery, she was postponing the desire to undergo a rhinoplasty.
During the pandemic, as the work pace had reduced, he began to research more about surgery on the internet, selecting doctors who had no lawsuits or patient complaints.
In February of this year, he scheduled his first appointment and, at the end of July, he underwent the long-awaited surgery. “When I said I wanted to operate, everyone said: ‘No need, no need.’ After I had the operation, everyone started saying, ‘Oh my God, your nose was really ugly,’ he jokes.
One of the immediate changes he noticed was to stop feeling ashamed of recording videos and participating in lives. “If I knew it would improve self-esteem so much, I would have done it before.”
Sales promoter Natália, 30, from São José dos Campos (SP), suffered bullying from schoolmates due to the size of her nose. In adult life, not even her ex-husband spared her. “He called me mollusk squid [personagem da série animada “Bob Esponja”].
In January of this year, already divorced, she underwent rhinoplasty in São Paulo. “Before, I was terrified of standing aside in meetings or even taking pictures. Now I love taking profile pictures.”
But there are also a lot of people unhappy with the results. “I cry every day since I took off the splint. I think the nose is still large and not very delicate”, says JC, 25, who underwent surgery in June.
For Mário Ferraz, people who decided to undergo rhinoplasty on impulse or out of fashion are more likely not to be satisfied with the results because they are looking for a beautification, and not necessarily the correction of something that bothered them a lot.
Due to the increase in this profile of patients, the doctor incorporated two psychologists into the team to help him filter cases that do not have surgical indication. With the measure, he said, the rate of non-recommended surgeries almost doubled, from 13% to 23%.
In online groups, there are dramatic reports of rhinoplasties that left sequelae, such as difficulty breathing, bleeding and infections. Singer Mariano, for example, said he has already undergone five procedures on his nose to correct the first one, which resulted in difficulty breathing.
For plastic surgeon Denis Calazans, president of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery, rhinoplasty should never be done out of fashion, but always on medical advice. “It is a medical treatment that needs a diagnosis, a therapeutic plan, ostensible information about the limitations of the results and the risks of surgery.”
Calazans says colleagues report that they are frequently sought out by patients who have had disastrous procedures, with non-specialists, and who then turn to plastic surgeons for corrections.
He explains that the anatomical structures that make up the nose are complex, and they give breathing functionality. When complications occur, they leave sequelae that can be irreparable. “The more interventions performed, the more complex the treatment becomes”, he says.
According to Ferraz, the high demand for the procedure has led many newly trained doctors in this type of surgery to perform a large volume of procedures. “Today, the person ended up undergoing training and already have patients waiting to undergo rhinoplasty. It takes professional maturing. you can’t the next day [ao treinamento] already have ten surgeries. The risk of causing problems is great.”
The rhinoplasty market is also disputed by dentists, who offer procedures called “rhinomodeling”, a kind of blunt plastic that uses fillers with hyaluronic acid and wires.
But there are several reports of cases of patients undergoing invasive procedures in the nose in dental offices, which contravenes CFO (Federal Council of Dentistry) standards.
For plastic surgeon Thiago Marra, a member of the Brazilian College of Plastic Surgery, dentists are competent to perform rhinoplasties and only need to be well trained.
“This is a one-way street. The practice area of dentists is unequivocally the face region. They already do facial harmonization, apply botulinum toxin and the next step will be facial surgery in general. We want well-trained, well-trained professionals.”