Turkish Journal of Plastic Surgery

: 2020  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 133--134

The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgery practice

Cenk Demirdover 
 Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Cenk Demirdover
Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine, Izmir

How to cite this article:
Demirdover C. The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgery practice.Turk J Plast Surg 2020;28:133-134

How to cite this URL:
Demirdover C. The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgery practice. Turk J Plast Surg [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Apr 23 ];28:133-134
Available from: http://www.turkjplastsurg.org/text.asp?2020/28/3/133/284956

Full Text


The first cases of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) were reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Then, it has rapidly spread worldwide and become a pandemic. In 6-month period, by the end of May 2020, more than 4.5 million confirmed cases and 300,000 deaths have been reported from 195 countries.[1] Soon after the World Health Organization (WHO) made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic, many countries had a gradual lockdown.

The health-care authorities on a national and international basis tried to define preventive measures to decelerate the propagation of Covid-19. Home quarantine, social distancing, avoiding gathering in groups, facial masks, hand wash, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and disinfecting surfaces were some of these preventive methods.

The overall mortality rate of Covid-19 estimated by the WHO was initially 2%, then the WHO updated it to 3.4%.[2] However, age, sex, and comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer are the factors that may increase the mortality rate.[3] Due to a high mortality rate, in many countries, all elective surgeries have been stopped and operating rooms have been converted to the intensive care units.[4]

 In Practice

During the Covid-19 pandemic, plastic reconstructive and esthetic surgery practice has been affected as the other surgical specialties. All scheduled elective cases have been canceled and new appointments have been suspended. In some clinics, plastic surgeons began to use telemedicine (online/virtual) consultations. Hand surgery cases such as microsurgical revascularization/replantation cases, maxillofacial traumas, severe infections, and malignancies that have metastasis risks such as squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma were considered as emergent/urgent cases.[4] All surgical interventions were performed under extreme precautions using personal protective equipment.[5]

 Plastic Surgery Training

In many hospitals, plastic surgery trainees began to work in Covid-19 units which caused an interruption in their training. However, many clinics used online platforms to continue theoretical teachings such as journal clubs, lectures, and webinars. This also helped trainees to keep them motivated. Unfortunately, some clinics have stopped teaching temporarily.[4]

 Negative Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic caused anxiety and depression in the general population including health-care professionals. Plastic surgeons who were busy most of the time have found themselves in anxiety after spending quiet weeks at home. On the other hand, earning less amount of money while paying all daily expenses increased their depression level.[4],[5]

 Positive Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Can a pandemic with a high mortality rate have a positive impact? It is related to how you develop the ability to adapt to changing environments. The positive impacts can be listed as follows:

Finding time for the internal feudSpending more time with families/beloved onesSpending more time on hobbies and some sportsFinding time to finish up never-ending projects, unpublished papers, etc.Discovering online meeting platforms/webinars, etc.Using telemedicine options for online consultationsAnalyzing all the negative aspects of the world before Covid-19 pandemicDiscussing the causes and effects of these negative aspectsCreating solutions for a better world after Covid-19 pandemic.


The Covid-19 pandemic is not the first and will not be the last. We must keep in mind that only the ones who can quickly adapt to changing conditions will survive. We will learn from our mistakes and we will try not to repeat them.


1Dover, Delaware, U.S.A. Available from: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. [Last accessed on 2020 May 16; Last updated on 2020 May 16].
2Selangor, Malaysia. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---3-march-2020. [Last updated on 2020 Mar 03].
3Lian J, Jin X, Hao S, Jia H, Cai H, Zhang X, et al. Epidemiological, clinical, and virological characteristics of 465 hospitalized cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from Zhejiang province in China. [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 12]. Influenza Other Respir Viruses 2020;10.1111/irv.12758. doi:10.1111/irv.12758.
4Giunta RE, Frank K, Costa H, Demirdöver C, Di Benedetto G, Elander A, et al. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on plastic surgery in Europe – An ESPRAS Survey. Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir 2020. doi: 10.1055/a-1169-4443. [Online ahead of print].
5van Heijningen I, Konstantin F, Almeida F, Bösch U, Bradic N, Costa H, et al. EASAPS/ESPRAS Considerations in getting back to work in Plastic Surgery with the COVID-19 Pandemic – A European point of view. Handchir Mikrochir Plast Chir 2020. doi: 10.1055/a-1175-4169. [Online ahead of print].