The world has been going through unprecedented times with healthcare systems under incredible strain. As with many of my plastic surgery colleagues our elective, or planned non-emergency surgeries have been put on hold to allow for all healthcare resources to be reallocated to treat the global pandemic.
As restrictions are now being lifted worldwide, thoughts are once again turning towards restarting elective surgeries. With this in mind, and with the Covid-19 pandemic still a threat to health, we must consider safety as the primary focus. As such, I thought I would share the considerations I will be taking in line with guidance from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and run through the journey of my most commonly performed elective surgeries – breast augmentation.
Breast Augmentation Patient Journey.
During the height of the pandemic, we performed virtual consultations with breast augmentation patients with prior submission of photographs and website details. This is still available as an initial meeting to enhance social and physical distancing measures.
On the second consultation, we urge patients to attend the clinic whilst observing all physical distancing measures, as well as mask and glove wearing, temperature checks and medical questionnaires amongst other Dubai Health Authority measures. At the second appointment questions are answered in person, a detailed physical examination is performed along with implant sizing, 3-D imaging and photography.
If you choose to go ahead with surgery, a full pre-surgery anaesthetic assessment is performed by one of our consultant anaesthetists observing the same safety measures in the same clinic. This assessment also includes all necessary pre-surgery tests including rapid result Covid-19 nasal swabs to inform us as to your Covid status.
On the Day
We have worked hard to develop a Covid-19 free environment for our patients who qualify for day surgery. This means patients have to have a rapid result negative Covid-19 nasal swab test. In addition, our day surgery facility has no patients with Covid-19 and all staff are screened for the illness too. All surgical and anaesthetic instrumentation is not used on Covid- 19 positive patients. Despite being a Covid-19 free environment all necessary precautionary measures are still taken. These include only performing surgeries less than 2.5 hours, for your safety and full personal protective equipment (PPE) for patient and staff protection.
On the morning of surgery patients are led by our concierge service into the day surgery facility and checked in by the surgical nursing team all of which are also wear full PPE. My anaesthetic team and I then see the patients and run through all aspects of the surgery and perform the consent.
During your breast augmentation surgery minimal staff are in the operating theatre and those that are have been regularly screened and tested. Once surgery is completed, you are recovered and discharged home the same day directly, where you recover in the safety of your home.
After the surgery and follow up
Once at home, you are asked to perform all the same social and physical precautionary measure again after your surgery. If you develop symptoms at any time related to Covid-19 you are advised to follow your local health authorities guidance and also contact us immediately.