COVID-19 has disrupted a lot of industries, and this applies to the surgical industry as well. People became less interested in surgeries when the lockdown first started. However, this reduced interest only lasted a short period as people have once again started making queries on search engines, using keywords like ‘breast augmentation,’ ‘plastic surgery,’ and ‘liposuction.’ Google Trends shows that searches relating to cosmetic surgeries are now higher than they were a year ago.
This might be because some people had their surgery rescheduled due to the virus. On the other hand, this may also be the result of people deciding to opt for surgery after looking at themselves on FaceTime, andZoom calls for extended periods.
Now, as you would expect, there are tighter security protocols than there normally were before COVID-19. Surgeons have decided upon some protocols, and it is best you knew them before your next appointment.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), along with regional and local health regulatory authorities, established these guidelines.This is, so both the patients and staff remain safe.
First of all, everyone is required to wear a mask at the practice. Staff will wear gloves. Moreover, the patients and staff will both undergo both screening and temperature checks during entry. Patients must also be asymptomatic, which means that they show no symptoms of the virus. Practices should limit contact between patients as much as possible with thorough sanitizing between patients.
The staff must undergo training in basic procedures they should take when they see someone with a symptom. Patients must complete registration and paperwork online and not on the premises. When possible patients are also required to make contactless payments.
There is also a set of guidelines for the patients, but they may vary between different practices. Here are some of the guidelines your surgeon’s practice might request you to follow when going in for a cosmetic procedure.
First of all, practices will generally offer virtual consultations. They must also make sure all of their paperwork is complete by filling out all the required forms online. At the practice, they will check you for COVID-19 symptoms will. Patients must come with a mask or a mask will be provided at the office for their appointment.
For the initial consultation, they may request only the patient come and Facetime or Zoom with family / friends. At the pre-operative appointment another friend or family member may be present. Still the number one patient protocol should be to make sure the patient remains comfortable throughout.
Ensure you choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for your procedure with excellent reviews. Your plastic surgeon is required to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state licensing board. Most places are requiring a negative COVID-19 test two days before your surgery. For most general anesthesia surgeries, the patient is placed on a ventilator. The CDC wants to ensure you are not positive for COVID-19 which may impact your recovery from the ventilator after surgery.
As always ask about where the surgery will be performed. They must meet the highest sterilization and sanitization standards. Although it can be done safely, you may want to think twice about surgeons performing major procedures in their office. Unfortunately, complications are sometimes ignored or dismissed at an office without proper treatment capabilities, versus at a surgical center or hospital, where complications are monitored and may need to be reported to the state. Surgery at a hospital or surgical center may also ensure additional competent medical support if it becomes necessary.
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