The recent lockdown caused by COVID-19 has seen the majority of businesses temporarily close their doors. Like all surgical disciplines, plastic surgeons have been forced to suspend elective surgery due to being unable to provide treatment in line with current Government measures.
Now, as restrictions start to ease, how might it change the plastic surgery industry? Clinics around the world have had to come up with solutions to ensure they can provide a safe service in line with new measures. So, what will plastic surgery look like post lockdown?
Cosmetic surgery demand increases across the globe
The pandemic certainly hasn’t decreased demand for cosmetic surgery procedures. Across the world, clinics have seen a surge in requests, particularly in Japan.
Many people are seeing the current situation as a chance to get cosmetic work done which they may not have had time to get done before. The fact you now have to wear a mask in public has also helped to hide potential scarring that would otherwise be noticeable after surgery. However, some experts are worried this surge in demand could help to spread the Coronavirus.
In America, they are also starting to open up cosmetic clinics as the lockdown eases in certain states and clinics are reassuring patients that they will be using full PPE to keep both surgeons and patients safe.
What could the future of plastic surgery look like?
Cosmetic surgery procedures, such as facelifts or nose jobs, are elective and therefore it is essential that they are as made as safe as possible. So, what could the future of cosmetic surgery look like?
New guidelines will be introduced to ensure cosmetic procedures can be carried out safely. Surgeons and all clinic staff will be required to wear full PPE. To begin with, surgeries will also be prioritised in terms of medical need. Due to increased demand, patients may also need to wait a lot longer to receive an appointment.
There is also talk that consultations may be carried out virtually where possible until a vaccination can be found. Patients will also likely be screened prior to coming into clinics and healthcare staff regularly tested. These are just some of the measures currently being discussed.
Most cosmetic surgery procedures are currently carried out using general anaesthetic, but in recent years there has been an increase in the use of local or regional anaesthetic combined with sedation as it is considered safer. Expert advice indicates that this is particularly true during the Coronavirus pandemic, reducing the risk of transmission and post-operative complications.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we live and work. In order to keep both patients and staff safe, cosmetic clinics need to make adjustments to how they operate and, certainly, it will be very interesting to watch what happens in other countries and how they cope. The future of plastic surgery certainly looks a lot different from how it did just a few months ago.
Currently, Mr Paul Tulley is available for video or phone consultations if you have any questions or need advice about plastic and cosmetic surgery.