Nearly every business and organization in the United States has been affected, at least in some way, by the COVID-19 pandemic. Plastic surgery practices are no exception.
With the implementation of quarantine measures, social distancing, and pervasive concern about the rapid spread of the disease, plastic surgery practices throughout the nation have been forced to make drastic changes. This is, in part, because plastic surgery of the breast, body and face are largely considered to be elective.
Let’s take a look at just some of the ways that COVID-19 has changed the practice of plastic surgery in San Francisco this year.
10 Ways Plastic Surgery Has Changed Since COVID-19
1) Financial strain for many practices because of quarantine
Like other organizations, most plastic surgery practices have had to close their doors, resulting in huge losses in revenue. Previously, even after a slower month, average revenues would balance out from month to month. Now, doctors and their staff are being forced to recover from entire months without a patient.
Naturally, the closure of most practices was necessary due to the inherent dangers present with COVID-19. Many other businesses experienced the same strains. This doesn’t take away the hardship of lost income for the welfare of our business and employees, however.
2) Furloughing or firing of employees
Speaking of employees, many practices have had to let staff go due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Even those we could keep on had to be furloughed as we were forced to close our doors for a period of time, during which no one could work.
This has been one of the most difficult and hard-to-accept challenged we’ve faced as a team. Plastic surgery practices across the United States undoubtedly hope to hire back as many employees as possible.
3) More practices now offering virtual consultations
As plastic surgery practices reopen with new laws and regulations from the state, many things have changed. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen has been the implementation of virtual consultations. Some medical practices (such as those of general practitioners, for example) have already used virtual consultations. They have been a highly useful tool for patients who live far from their doctor’s office or who are too sick to come in.
Plastic surgery practices, on the other hand, have not used virtual consultations on a regular basis. Thus, this has been a huge change in our regular routine, and we’re happy to be able to provide the option to our patients.
4) Virtual visits accepted as replacements for initial consultations
As virtual visits become the norm for appointments that don’t require hands-on assistance, they have also replaced initial in-person consultation appointments.
For all of our procedures — whether invasive or not — we normally prefer to conduct in-person consultation appointments. At these visits, Dr. Sieber can speak with you directly and take a look at the area(s) of your body and/or face that you’d like to improve upon. Unfortunately, consultation appointments cannot always be performed in person as of late. Thus, online video calls have become the new norm.
5) Increased backlogs of people for both surgical and non-surgical procedures
Since reopening, we’ve seen a huge influx of new and old customers who are interested in surgery and other procedures. At the same time, however, we were scheduling and rescheduling patients throughout the entire time that we were closed as well.
This has produced a record backlog of both surgical and non-surgical patients. Some individuals have to wait unprecedentedly long periods just to get their first consultation appointment. As far as we know from speaking with other plastic surgeons around the country, this is happening everywhere.
6) New protocols for reopening
With the new changes in how to handle patients and medical practices in general, our day-to-day activities have altered quite a bit. We take these changes seriously. Masks are required, and we do as much social distancing as possible. In some cases (during consultations, routine visits, and surgery, for example) staying six feet away from each other is simply not possible. But we certainly do our best to provide contactless payments, socially distant waiting rooms, and other measures that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
7) A surge in revenue
Because we’ve now reopened, we’ve gone from having no income to having a huge surge in income. Speaking with many other plastic surgery practices, we’ve heard similar stories of record months in revenue.
8) More patients than before because of an inability to travel, combined with higher disposable incomes
Of course, it goes without saying that our list of new patients’ procedures (and new procedures for old patients) has gone up and up. But one of the additional reasons for this is that many people are now forced to stay home, and as such, they’ve found it the perfect time to get plastic surgery. Not only this, but many also have experienced an increase in disposable income.
Counterintuitively, some individuals have had a surge in income, depending on their industry. Of course, without the ability to spend money on things like travel, others are saving more than they’re used to. This, too, has caused our number of patients to rise.
9) Increased awareness of appearance because of new practices like Zoom calls
One unique thing we’ve specifically noticed about this time of working from home is that things like Zoom calls, FaceTime, and other technologies have made our appearances even more “in our faces.” When you see yourself every day, time and again (not just in the bathroom mirror), you may begin to see small flaws you’d not noticed before. This new video call practice alone has been responsible for many of the new patients we’ve received in recent weeks.
10) Persisting interest in plastic surgery
Lastly, despite all these changes, one thing remains: People are still interested in plastic surgery in and around the San Francisco area. Even when our doors were completely closed, patients still inquired about plastic surgery procedures that could make them feel confident and proud of their bodies. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon who has performed countless surgeries for his patients, Dr. Sieber wants to help you look your best as well. Even with the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to our practice, we remain the leading plastic surgery practice in San Francisco.
Interested in Plastic Surgery?
Now’s the perfect time to invest in plastic surgery that can improve your appearance and provide you with the confidence you’ve been craving. Dr. Sieber Plastic Surgery of San Francisco offers a wide range of procedures and services to meet your needs. Specifically, Dr. Sieber focuses on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, body, and face.
Ready to get started? We’re ready to speak with you! Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation appointment!