No cosmetic surgery during Covid-19

Why do we stop everything and when will we open up again?

A blog post by Dr. Rolf Bartsch

First of all, I have to say that I am a plastic surgeon and not a virologist and this blog contains my very personal opinion on this subject.

The corona virus with the name COVID-19 already has the world firmly under control. The pandemic is spreading and we are probably only at the beginning with the number of infected people. From my point of view, Austria, and thus the Austrian federal government, reacted very well and, above all, comparatively quickly with its measures. The question that many patients still ask me by phone or email is why do we currently have to adhere to the quarantine? The answer is simple – if we manage to slow down the number of infected people, patients with more severe disease can be cared for in hospitals in intensive care units. Unfortunately, this does not only affect old people and people with previous illnesses, but also younger patients, who only rarely.

Conclusion: a slow spread can save lives, even if we pay the price that the time of infection is significantly increased.

Another question that I am often asked right now: “Why have we completely stopped aesthetic and surgical treatments?” In the coming days and weeks, when social contacts are to be reduced to a minimum and always have time, you could carry out one or the other treatment?

However, the answer from our side is very clear: NO. Any aesthetic interventions in the form of surgery weaken the immune system for a short period of time as it is busy healing. As a result, a simultaneous or previous infection with the Corona Virus COVID-19 can take a more severe course. This means that the immune system is preoccupied with the consequences of the operation and can be less concerned with the spread of the virus in the body. The number of viruses can multiply in a very short time. In a young patient who normally fights the virus with his own immune system without symptoms, this could lead to a more severe course of the disease, but in the worst case he needs intensive care medicine and has to be ventilated.

  • We therefore advise against all surgical interventions at the moment.

Health over beauty.

Non-surgical aesthetic treatments would be possible from a medical point of view, but not from an ethical point of view. And the infection can be carried on even with minor interventions. If we all do not adhere to the prescribed reduction in social contacts, but continue to carry out aesthetic treatments in our ordination, do not keep the given distance, bring people together, we can infect ourselves, become carriers and infect others.

Unfortunately, the urgency has not yet reached many of them. We get a lot of incomprehension on the phone when we are currently forced to announce surgery appointments and interventions. This blog post is intended especially for these patients and also for new patients and is intended to explain our point of view.

We are and will remain medical professionals and do not want to sell. We want to do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

When will we re-open?

This question is both an ethical-medical and an economic one. Not only employees depend on our ordination, but also many suppliers, i.e. people again. When will normal operation be again? This question cannot be answered 100% at this point in time on March 18, 2020. However, it is to be hoped and assumed that the infection curve will subside in the next few weeks. Then governments will be forced to slowly restart public life. The economy is suffering enormously and many people fear for their existence. But today it is difficult to say when we will start operations again. Will it be early May, June or just July? This depends on how many people stick to the reduction in social contacts. And here everyone can make their contribution.

My appeal to you: follow the measures now!

Provide intensive hand disinfection.

Keep your distance.

Only leave the house for urgent matters, such as an urgent purchase for groceries or trips to the pharmacy, or to help others.

This is the only way we can slow down the spread of the virus and save lives.

We hope for your understanding and look forward to seeing you again in our ordination in a few weeks, hopefully.

Good health and all the best to you and your families.

I am available for personal concerns via WhatsApp +43 699 111 222 000.

Dr. Rolf Bartsch and Dr. Katrin Bartsch with the theaesthetics team.