Plastic surgery and COVID-19 in the GCC: Fears, lessons learned, and the plan for the future

Nouf A. Al Saud, Shahad N. Alanazi, Feras M. Alshomer, Abdullah E. Kattan, Mohamed A. Mrad, Zuhair Al Fardan, Taghreed R. Alhumsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: With the labeling of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, national directives were issued instructing to close all cosmetic clinics, suspend all cosmetic procedures, and only operate on an emergency basis. As a result, many plastic surgeons faced challenges sustaining their practice. We aimed to investigate the effect of these national directive instructions on the surgeons and to review their strategies for adapting their practices during this new pandemic. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using an online questionnaire. It was constructed to assess the attitudes and practices of plastic surgeons in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries during the COVID-19 lockdown. It also explored their strategies on reopening their practice, as well as their plans on modifications of practice during and after the lockdown. Results: In total, 197 surgeons responded to the survey. The majority were from Saudi Arabia (42.1%), followed by the United Arab Emirates (37.6%), with relatively smaller participation from the remaining countries. Over two-thirds (69.5%) indicated that the pandemic had affected their practice. Surgeons in private practices were significantly affected (P < 0.001) compared with those in the public sector. Only 39% of respondents mentioned COVID-19 testing as part of their post-pandemic surgical protocol. Conclusions: Surgeons' responses to the pandemic varied. Fear and future uncertainty significantly led to a surge in the utilization of different technical means to maintain the patient pool. Surgeons' education about post-pandemic precautions is essential to maintain high standards of care in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3225
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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