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American Society of Plastic Surgeons Releases New Guidance for Resuming Elective Procedures Amid COVID-19

June 1, 2020

American Society of Plastic Surgeons   (ASPS)

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) – the world's largest plastic surgery organization – leads the specialty's medical professionals in navigating their practices' recovery plans. As plastic surgeons prepare to resume elective procedures, ASPS is providing its nearly 8,000 members essential tools and resources, including a comprehensive playbook with enhanced patient and staff safety protocols. The Society has also organized access to personal protective equipment to help advance smooth, safe returns.

ASPS Survey Finds Americans Have Positive Attitude Toward Plastic Surgery During COVID-19 Pandemic

ASPS recently gauged Americans' perceptions of plastic surgery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, analyzing responses from more than 1,000 consumers in a national survey fielded by market research firm Quester, providing insights into how consumers feel about the category and top treatments. The results demonstrate that, during the pandemic, 49% of those who haven't had plastic surgery indicated they are open to cosmetic or reconstructive treatment in the future. Of those, 28% would consider a first-time cosmetic procedure. Those who had previous procedures reported improved overall confidence, while 29% of all respondents indicated specific treatments – such as rhinoplasty, face lifts and breast augmentation – are top of mind for them.

ASPS Provides Guidance to Prepare Plastic Surgeons and Patients for In-Office Visits

As new and existing patients remain interested in making their way back to plastic surgeons' offices, ASPS tapped a representative group of its membership in practices nationwide to draft considerations for members as they develop reopening strategies.

In consultation with local, regional and national public health authorities, recommendations include:

  • Knowing the up-to-date statistics in your community
  • Reviewing patient flow plans that allow for social distancing
  • Availability of COVID-19 testing in your area
  • Reassessing cleaning protocols and daily sterilization of offices
  • Evaluating access to anesthesia supplies and personal protective equipment
  • Spending adequate time to educate staff
  • Knowing availability of transfer options for your office-based OR/ambulatory surgery center

Patients can also expect enhanced safety protocols for their next in-person visit, including a combination of these measures for reducing the risk of virus transmission:

  • Conducting telehealth/virtual encounters in preparation or as a substitute for in-person visits
  • Evaluate which services will be available upon opening and which will be postponed until a later date (e.g., those that require a patient to remove a facial mask)
  • Use of online patient portals, electronic communication, mail, or fax to complete registration and other paperwork prior to in-office arrival
  • Screenings, including temperature checks and symptom questionnaires on site
  • Patients wearing masks and waiting offsite before entering
  • Staggered scheduling to accommodate an increasing trend for eliminating waiting rooms
  • Doctors wearing N95 or other FDA/NiOSH approved masks and eye protection/face shields
  • Identifying all high-touch areas within the facility and scheduling frequent cleanings throughout the day

"Our goal at ASPS is to keep our finger on the pulse of the public and plastic surgeons for all information and questions pertaining to cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Through our members, our organization continues to be a thought leader for the specialty," said ASPS President Lynn Jeffers, MD, MBA, FACS.

"ASPS is proud to assist our members in getting back to their practices, and prioritizing the safety of patients, plastic surgeons, and their staff," added Dr. Jeffers. "We encourage patients to discuss questions with their ASPS member plastic surgeons who are committed to setting the standard in excellence and safety as we ramp up our visits and surgeries."

ASPS will continue to assess government and CDC guidelines to remain an ongoing resource to members and the public as they navigate new safety measures and an ever-evolving landscape.

To stay informed and find a board-certified plastic surgeon, visit


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