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Findings from a recent survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and experience from a European plastic surgery centre with an international clientele, suggest that there is a pent-up demand for plastic surgery procedures due to travel and other restrictions related to Covid-19.
The U.S. survey analyzed responses from more than 1,000 Americans. Results, published in a press release (June 1, 2020), included the finding that among respondents who said they had not had plastic surgery previously, 28% said they would consider a first-time cosmetic procedure.
Some 49% of Americans surveyed who had not had a plastic surgery procedure previously would be open to a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Additionally, 29% of all respondents indicated that treatments such has rhinoplasty, face lifts and breast augmentation were on top of mind for them.
Justina Bartkute, director of the Nordesthetics clinic in Kaunas, Lithuania, said in the release that she sees a similar trend in Europe with patients willing to have procedures done once borders reopen. The Nordesthetics clinic is an international plastic surgery centre which treats more than 2,000 patients a year – 90% of whom are medical tourists.
“The renewal of international flights and the relaxation of quarantine measures are the only important factors,” said Bartkute in a press release.
Bartkute anticipates that when border restrictions are eased, patients will return.
“Some patients [will] even use this opportunity to reschedule their procedures for [an] earlier time,” continued Bartkute. “There are patients asking for delays, but their concern is the uncertainty of travel conditions, not the risk of the virus.”
The Nordesthetics clinic generally sees patients from Norway, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, and Switzerland. With their respective borders recently reopened or in the process of reopening, the clinic is expecting to see patients from Spain and Ireland.
Bartkute suggests this trend indicates patients are not concerned about health risks during the pandemic.
“Patients are not anxious, they are tired of waiting,” said Bartkute. “They see that the Covid-19 spread will continue as long as there is no vaccine. But people cannot delay their health issues for that long. They see that they have to move on with their lives, even with planned procedures. And they trust the clinic, too. We operate in Lithuania—a country which has been very successful in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
During the quarantine, the Nordesthetics clinic took measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Patients who enter the clinic for consultations have to disinfect their hands and measure their temperature. Those visiting the clinic must also wear face masks and gloves. Consultation times and the number of patients visiting the clinic are limited. Prior to surgeries, all patients must have a Covid-19 test in addition to other pre-surgical testing.