Plastic Surgery in the Time of COVID-19

David Chi, Austin D. Chen, Miguel I. Dorante, Bernard T. Lee, Justin M. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has swept the world in the last several months, causing massive disruption to existing social, economic, and health care systems. As with all medical fields, plastic and reconstructive surgery has been profoundly impacted across the entire spectrum of practice from academic medical centers to solo private practice. The decision to preserve vital life-saving equipment and cancel elective procedures to protect patients and medical staff has been extremely challenging on multiple levels. Frequent and inconsistent messaging disseminated by many voices on the national stage often conflicts and serves only to exacerbate an already difficult decision-making process. Methods A survey of relevant COVID-19 literature is presented, and bioethical principles are utilized to generate guidelines for plastic surgeons in patient care through this pandemic. Results A cohesive framework based upon core bioethical values is presented here to assist plastic surgeons in navigating this rapidly evolving global pandemic. Conclusion Plastic surgeons around the world have been affected by COVID-19 and will adapt to continue serving their patients. The lessons learned in this present pandemic will undoubtedly prove useful in future challenges to come.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of reconstructive microsurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • coronavirus
  • pandemic
  • plastic surgery
  • reconstructive surgery


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