How Your Plastic Surgery Experience May Change in a Post-Quarantine World


The global pandemic is changing the way we do things in both our personal and professional lives—and every industry has been compelled to reexamine how their businesses can operate safely.

Here at Hess Plastic Surgery, we are building on decades of experience with surgical safety and sanitation to keep our patients safe during the pandemic, along with added measures.

Is it safe to have non-surgical cosmetic procedures during COVID-19?

Yes, we believe it can be safe to have a non-surgical cosmetic procedure during the pandemic, provided you choose a responsibly-minded practice led by a board certified plastic surgeon.

The American College of Surgeons has developed a Patient-Surgeon Discussion Guide to help ensure communication between you and your plastic surgeon is as clear and thorough as possible. The following is a list of questions you should ask any practice before your office visit:

  • What COVID-19 protective measures does the office have in place overall?
  • Can I wait inside my car when I arrive for the office visit or do I have to come inside to check-in?
  • What safety measures are in place for in-office check-in?
  • How many patients are permitted in the waiting room at one time?
  • Do I need to wear a mask? Are all other patients, office staff, and medical personnel required to wear masks?
  • If I have to ride an elevator, does the building have a COVID-safe elevator policy? How often are the elevators cleaned?
  • Will there be a physical barrier between me and any staff I am speaking with? If not, will they be six feet away from me?

Is it safe to have cosmetic surgery during COVID-19?

Yes, we believe it can be safe to have cosmetic surgery during COVID-19. Be certain to choose a plastic surgeon who is board certified and who welcomes any and all questions and concerns you may have.

We recommend asking any practice you work with the following questions about your procedure:

  • Will I have my temperature taken before my procedure?
  • Will I be tested for COVID-19 before my operation? If so, when will my test be scheduled?
  • Will I be going into any other departments in the facility for testing or exams before my procedure begins?
  • Who are all the people I can expect to interact with at the facility?
  • Are the staff members I encounter also treating patients who have COVID-19?
  • Will patients who have COVID-19 be in the same facility? If so, how will we be separated?
  • What safety measures are in place for common areas like hallways, elevators, and restrooms?

For more discussion questions about the safety of the O.R. and precautions to take during your recovery period, we encourage you to review The American College of Surgeon’s complete guide to preparing for surgery during COVID-19.

What COVID-19 precautions are plastic surgeons required to take?

All board certified plastic surgeons must follow national, state, and local regulations regarding elective surgeries during the pandemic. Here in Virginia, we are following guidelines set out by The Medical Society of Virginia and the Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons.

What if I feel a bit under the weather but don’t want to cancel my procedure?

While you may be reluctant to postpone your procedure if you’re feeling unwell, you’ll be doing your part to prevent the spread of the virus to others—as well as ensuring you have the safest experience possible. The same thing goes if you suspect you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

It’s important to note that this is true regardless of whether or not you have been exposed to COVID-19—moving forward with surgery with any illness risks getting others at the facility sick and potentially impeding your healing process.

Here is what we are doing at Hess Plastic Surgery to help our own patients stay safe during the pandemic

Since the pandemic, Hess Plastic Surgery has worked hard to refine our safety measures and practices to ensure the safest environment possible for our staff and patients. Below is a partial list of what you can expect (for a comprehensive list of the protocols we’re following please consult The Medical Society of Virginia and the Virginia Society of Plastic Surgeons websites).

  • Taking patient and staff temperatures to confirm the absence of symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • Making hand hygiene supplies readily available to all personnel and patients in our office suite and restrooms.
  • Routinely cleaning and disinfecting surfaces prior to applying a hospital-grade disinfectant to frequently touched surfaces or objects.
  • Requiring all patients, medical providers, and office staff to wear masks.

When it comes to surgery, Dr. Hess performs most of his plastic surgeries at the Northern Virginia Surgery Center at Fair Oaks Hospital. Procedures longer than 4 hours are performed at INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital. Both facilities have comprehensive COVID-19 protocols in place.

What should I expect once I’ve scheduled my appointment?

  1. On the day of your appointment, please call us at (703) 752-6608 when you arrive. We request that you wait in your car. We will call or text you when we are ready for you.
  2. We have implemented a screening protocol for all patients. When you arrive, an office staff member will ask you a series of questions about your health, possible exposure to persons with the virus, etc.
  3. We request that only patients receiving services come inside the office unless you’re an adult accompanying a minor or a caregiver who needs to be present.
  4. Please bring and wear your own mask.

If you’re looking for skincare products from our Medical Spa, we can help you out with no contact! Call us at (703) 752-6608 to get product recommendations, place your order, and arrange for convenient curbside pickup. If a particular product requires a prescription, we can take care of you during a virtual evaluation and consultation.

All of us at Hess Plastic Surgery are committed to providing you a safe Fairfax plastic surgery experience during this time. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, we will too. Please check in with our office if you have any questions or concerns about your appointment, consult, or procedure. You can give us a call at (703) 752-6608 or get in touch online. We’re happy to answer your questions and look forward to hearing from you!

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