While it is too early to predict the end of the coronavirus pandemic, there are positive signs thanks to the vaccines being administered across the country. In the past year, businesses of all types have been forced to adapt in order to survive. This is true of the plastic surgery industry as many “non-essential” procedures were put on hold for multiple months due to safety regulations from state and local governments. COVID-19 has made changes to the plastic surgery industry that will likely last for many years as explained in the informative article below.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the entire fabric of society and this includes the way those who had plastic surgery are often viewed by the public. The majority of the healthcare industry is still focused on the ongoing battle against COVID-19 which means there is a potential for members of the public to be “judged” by others that undergo cosmetic enhancements to their appearance. They might be viewed as taking away precious time that doctors could devote to treating patients with COVID-19.
One of the steps doctors have taken to keep their patients safe, while still serving their medical needs, is the growth in popularity of telemedicine. Online medical consultations allow doctors to meet with patients through platforms such as Skype or Zoom.
Telemedicine appointments can cover a variety of topics from consultation appointments about plastic surgery procedures such as hair transplants or breast augmentation to follow-up appointments after in-person medical treatments. The telemedicine appointments are HIPAA-compliant and they allow patients to still have a personal face to face connection with a doctor.
For patients that prefer to meet with a doctor in a medical office, new policies are in place to ensure the safety of patients. These updated patient safety polices include temperature checks when the patient enters the office, no guests are allowed to enter the office with the patient and the wearing of gloves and masks at all times while in the medical building. The majority of offices have also added sanitizer stations and barriers at the front desk to add an extra label of protection between patients and the medical staff. The medical personnel also need to undergo regular temperature checks to ensure they are not suffering from any type of illness while at work.
Thanks to the government ordered shutdown of medical offices at the start of the pandemic, there were a number of patients that were not able to get follow-up treatments for procedures such as Botox and fillers. As mentioned earlier, the performance of certain cosmetic procedures might be viewed as being “non-essential” by the general public but that doesn’t mean the desire to have these treatments will decrease in the future.
The need to wear a face mask in public actually contributes to the continued desire by some patients to have Botox and fillers. Patients are able to hide the results of their procedures form others by wearing a mask. This means they will not be judged by many as the results they received from Botox and fillers will not be easily viewed by the public. The ability to “hide” a procedure from the eyes of the public is one that many patients are embracing in the current COVID-19 climate.
One unexpected trend that has resulted from the lockdowns has been a return of the desire for a more natural look to the body. The trend of overfilled lips and cheeks has gone away and been replaced by some with an acceptance of a more natural appearance. The public is becoming reacquainted with their natural look including the appearance of some wrinkles and fine lines on the face. There has also been a trend towards a more subdued aesthetic of the breasts and butt instead of the overly large proportions that were very popular in the last decade. It has been noted that the experience of going through the coronavirus pandemic might result in many people being less interested in augmenting their features through cosmetic procedures.
There is also the overall health of the patient to worry about when it comes to plastic surgery procedures. Patients need to have a negative COVID-19 test before undergoing a surgical procedure. If they do test positive for COVID-19, the surgery will need to be delayed until a patient is full recovered. Plus, the immune system needs to be able to handle the surgery and not be weakened from fighting against coronavirus. It is up to the medical professional to perform a though examination of a patient to make sure the person is healthy enough, and/or fully recovered after testing positive for COVID-19, to have any type of cosmetic surgery procedure in the future.