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By: Fendi Bautista, Niña Young

 On 12 June 2020, the first webinar between the Philippine Dermatological Society (PDS) in collaboration with the Philippine Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS) entitled, “Recommendation for the Safe Practice of Aesthetic Procedures in the Covid-19 Era: From the Leaders in Aesthetic Medicine: PDS & PAPRAS”, was held.

The event was moderated by Dr. Camille Angeles and was commenced by welcome remarks coming from both Dr. Purita Paz-Lao, president of the Philippine Dermatological Society and Dr. Laurence Loh, president of the  Philippine Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons.

Dr. Paz-Lao then proceeded to discuss precautions on dermatologic procedures and surgeries during COVID-19 pandemic. The lecture aimed to guide the practitioners to optimize both patient experience and outcome amidst challenges facing our practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. General recommendations include deferring all elective dermatologic procedures and surgeries during COVID-19 pandemic, or at least until new COVID cases are sequentially declining, testing is available at a meaningful scale to validate perceived prevalence reductions, and adequate protocols and resources are in place to conduct effective contact tracing. However, if performing certain procedures are unavoidable, she reiterated the importance of practicing safety precautions while performing different procedures and the recommendations for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) types and use depending upon procedure-based risk assessment for providers, staff and patients.

With aesthetic treatment considerations, pretreatment preparations for minimizing risk of transmission in performing the most common types of office-based aesthetic procedures such as neurotoxin and dermal filler injections, non-invasive body contouring, lasers and other similar energy-emitting devices, and a range of medical skin care treatments were also recommended.

The lecture of Dr. Paz-Lao was then followed by the lecture of Dr. Loh. He explained the most common aesthetic surgical procedures and the applicable safety precautions and recommendations depending upon the type of surgery to be done (eg. minor surgery under local anesthesia, surgery done under general anesthesia), anesthesia concerns, and post-operative setting.

With reopening clinics and performance of various medical and aesthetic procedures, it is important to focus on the strict infection control measures. Appropriate use of PPEs and practicing extra precaution during aesthetic procedures can benefit in keeping patients as well as the clinic staff safe from COVID‐19 infection during this pandemic. 

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