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Covid-19 Update - May 1, 2020

"Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise so I am changing myself."
- Rumi

Dear friends,

As we begin to emerge from our long hibernation in self isolation and quarantine, I am reminded once again of how life does not imitate art as much as it imitates nature. Nature is art, art is life, and life is nature.  I have spent the past six weeks watching the trees on my street come to life and Central Park get splashed by the cherry blossom trees, as every morning dawn is interrupted by the concerto of chirping sparrows. Spring has arrived and with it our innate desire for rebirth and renewal. COVID-19 has forced an internal change of seasons for all of us. We will forever be thankful and thoughtful when we look back at these moments as we show gratitude for what has been there all along: our belief, our body, our family, our dear friends, our neighbors, and even that special bond with our doctor or patient.

As a physician I may hear the patients’ most intimate secrets, and as a plastic surgeon I may learn about a secret that a patient may not have shared with their spouse. What I have learned over the past 20 years is that we all share a common journey; a path towards self-discovery which may take many twists and turns. Every one of us has faced challenges in our lives but only by seeking change and moving forward, we will discover our true selves.  {I shared my own journey last spring at the Annual Leaders Across borders Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa}

As we look ahead to what will be our “new normal” in the post-COVID, we are opening our eyes to a new reality that we can and shall overcome as long as we educate ourselves and stay engaged.  With that in mind, I want you all to know that we are preparing for phase one of our opening of our offices in the New York Metropolitan area in May. As Chief of Plastic Surgery at New York Medical College and WMC Health System, I continue to get briefed about the status of Corona Virus outbreak and the COVID-19 in our region. I promise you that we will utilize our extensive medical and clinical knowledge to help keep you safe and protected once you can resume your daily activities. We are available to our patients every day by phone at 516.439.5010 or email reception by clicking here.  Please make sure you keep in touch as we plan to increase our hours and start procedures in the month of May. We have taken the extra steps to assure your safety including:

  • Every patient is pre-screened on-line or via video consult before they arrive in the office.
  • We have spread visiting hours to one patient at a time with no other patients allowed in the waiting room.
  • We have active policy of terminal cleaning of each room before and after each visit
  • We are trained in use of universal pre-cautions protocol for the use of PPE by all staff
  • We exercise universal precautions for EVERY patient interaction to ensure safety and minimize the spread of this disease in our hospitals and communities.
  • We have implemented several new policies and procedures, many of which go further than any health authority recommendations.
  • We are available for all of our existing and new patients via virtual consultation. We have always conducted virtual consults for our out of town visiting patients and now offer this technology to all of our interested patients. For best practice we ask that you conduct the consult in a private setting with strong WIFI signal and plenty of natural light available.

Our Phase One Protocol for Patient visits

  • We know exactly how much you have been preparing for your visit and have modified our patient care guidelines to help keep you safe
    • All patients have to have a scheduled appointment and no walk-ins are allowed
    • Each patient is asked to stay in their car and text with our reception upon arrival
    • Each patient will then be escorted by our team individually to our office
    • No escorts or additional visitors are permitted to accompany patients into the building during their appointment
    • We have spaced our appointments to allow for one patient visit at a time
    • Please bring your own personal mask that you wear upon entering our facility
    • We will be checking temperatures on all patients as they enter and anyone with a reading over 99.9 degrees may be asked to reschedule at least three weeks later as a precaution. If you have a cough, fever, or chills, or other signs of flu please call our office to discuss whether to reschedule.
    • Our staff will also exercise universal precautions with mask, eye protection and gloves in managing each patient
    • We have allowed ample time to sterilize and each room and space
    • We place instruments after each use into an autoclave (a high-pressure steam oven) to kill every known infectious organism, including coronavirus.
    • We wash our hands thoroughly and apply an alcohol-based compound between each patient interaction and expect you to do the same
    • We will provide you with the personalized touch while exercising a higher standard of infection-control, including removing all magazines, coffee dispensers, and other items that are difficult to disinfect from public access.

We very much look forward to welcome you back in person.  From all of us at Cosmoplastic Surgery, we give you love and light.

Kaveh Alizadeh , MD, MSc, FACS

Covid-19 Update - April 14 2020

[As the chief of Plastic Surgery at New York Medical College and WMC Health System, I am briefed daily about the status of Corona Virus outbreak and COVID-19 in our region.]

Our dear friends,

As a physician who has been in practice for twenty years, I would like to share my insights and updates with the COVID-19 pandemic and specifically how it relates to our communities.  As the Chief of Plastic Surgery at WMC Health and Associate Professor of Surgery at New York Medical College, I not only participate in clinical care of patients on a daily basis but am engaged in a broader conversation about the road ahead.  We are now witnessing the first recorded moment in human history when the entire planet is not only simultaneously witnessing human suffering, but is uniformly dedicated to overcoming it. That sense of commonality is palpable in New York, a major global center of the epidemic.   New York has reached its inflection point of flattening of the contagion curve.  Many of us know of patients, friends or acquaintances who have suffered from COVID-19 illness or perished in the past month. I have lost one surgeon colleague, have another in the ICU now, and have numerous others in my department who have had to take a leave for testing positive.  We remain hopeful but vigilant.  Like a stadium wave, we know that we can sit down briefly but anticipate that the next wave that is making its way around the stadium will soon force us to stand again.

I am incredibly moved by the 7 PM applause every evening in my New York neighborhood.  But it implies that healthcare workers, emergency medical services and other first-responders have become heroes by going above and beyond their duty during these times. In fact, this is what we do each and every day without seeking any recognition. On any given night, there are Emergency Medical Technicians who risk infecting themselves while trying to get an IV into an overdosed HIV positive drug addict.  Every evening, transplant surgeons risk infecting themselves with hepatitis from a dying patient.  And in the mornings, there are nurses putting themselves in harm’s way by walking into a room to take the vital signs of patient with tuberculosis. Yet these heroes do not seek recognition or post their every move on social media. They do it because they are doing the right thing and take pride in doing it right.

At Cosmoplastic Surgery we take great care to make sure we do the right thing for our patients and take great pride in doing it right. We continue to monitor the progress of the pandemic esp in our community. We have been seeing our post-operative patients on a weekly basis and have remained in touch with everyone else via virtual video consults. We are open each and every day by phone and virtual consult. I encourage you to visit our web site at www.cosmoplastic.com and see my latest Easter Holiday wish video and read my updated clinical information about COVID-19 trends, testing, and available treatments.

We are available to our patients every day at 516.439.5010 or email reception by clicking here.  Please make sure you keep in touch as we plan to increase our hours and hopefully start procedures in the month of May. We have taken the extra steps to assure your safety including:

  • Pre-screening of all patients before they arrive in the office
  • Seeing one patient at a time with no other patients allowed in the waiting room
  • Terminal cleaning of each room before and after each visit
  • Use of universal pre-cautions protocol for the use of PPE by staff and patients

I hope that you all get to enjoy the spring days ahead with the family and I for one cannot wait to greet you back in our office very soon.

Stay safe and engaged,

Kaveh Alizadeh MD, MSc, FACS

COVID-19 Update – March 24, 2020

Our dear patients and friends,

During these challenging times, I would like to share the most recent updates and hope to engage you in our plans to not only manage through these difficult times but to emerge together stronger and better prepared for the future.

As the Chief of Plastic Surgery at New York Medical College and WMC Health System, I am briefed daily about the status of Corona Virus outbreak and the COVID-19 in our region and must share that things will get worse before they get better. However, given our extensive medical and clinical knowledge we will keep you safe and protected once you can resume your daily activities.

We exercise universal precautions for EVERY patient interaction to ensure safety and minimize the spread of this disease in our hospitals and communities. I am happy to report that NONE of our staff has tested positive and all remain healthy and helpful with our practice protocols. We have implemented several new policies and procedures, many of which go further than any health authority recommendations.

Patient visits

  • Our highest priority is to protect you as our patient from unnecessary risk, In the times of COVID-19, even in well-organized health systems there are currently shortages and delivery difficulties of emergency drugs, antibiotics, protective gowns, masks, disinfectants and infusions worldwide. For these reasons at this time we can only see:
    • Emergency patients
    • Recently operated patients
    • Patients for direct postoperative care such as drain removal
  • Aesthetic procedures such as laser, filler Injections or Botox treatments cannot be offered at this time due to the regulations.
  • We are available for all of our existing patients via phone and all new patients via virtual consultation. We have conducted virtual consults for our out of town visiting patients and now offer this technology to all of our interested patients. For best practice we ask that you conduct the consult in a private setting with strong WIFI signal and plenty of natural light available.

Surgical appointments and procedures

  • If you already have a surgery scheduled with me, please reach out to us by phone and we can discuss the timing of your individual case.
  • All NEW patients interested in a procedure will get a virtual consult in a private format with myself as a first step before we commit to bringing you to the office for a visit

In person visits

  • We know exactly how much you have been preparing for your visit and have modified our patient care guidelines to help keep you safe
    • All patients have to have a scheduled appointment and no walk-ins are allowed
    • Each patient is asked to stay in their car and text with our reception upon arrival
    • Each patient will then be escorted by our team individually to our office
    • No escorts or additional visitors are permitted to accompany patients into the building during their appointment
    • We have spaced our appointments to allow for one patient visit at a time
    • Please bring your own personal mask that you wear upon entering our facility
    • Our staff will also exercise universal precautions with mask, eye protection and gloves in managing each patient
    • We have allowed ample time to sterilize and each room and space
    • We place instruments after each use into an autoclave (a high-pressure steam oven) to kill every known infectious organism, including coronavirus.
    • We wash our hands thoroughly and apply an alcohol-based compound between each patient interaction and expect you to do the same

In addition to the above standard measures, even though our waiting room is closed, we will be exercising a higher standard of infection-control, including removing all magazines, coffee dispensers, and other items that are difficult to disinfect. And while we love and value each of our patients, handshakes and hugs may be replaced with the Yoga greeting Namaste for the time being.

While we are doing everything in our power to protect you, we also ask for your cooperation in making our office environment a safe one when you visit us. If you have a cough, fever, or chills, please call our office to discuss whether or not you should reschedule. We will be checking temperatures on all patients as they enter and anyone with a reading over 99.9 degrees may be asked to reschedule at least three weeks later as a precaution.

COVID-19 scams

  • As COVID-19 infections continue to spread, scammers are busy at work exploiting the uncertainty and fear. It is more critical than ever to be aware of the heightened risk of email scams, phone scams, malicious downloads from spoofed websites, etc. Do not click on links from sources you do not know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device. Confirm that the email address is valid and spelled correctly.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/ and the World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int/.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowd funding sites. Do not let anyone rush you into donating. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, do not do it. Use another method of communication to confirm everything is legitimate.

Finally, many of you have questions regarding “alternative” treatments for Coronavirus. For patients with mild fever, and sinus or mild respiratory symptoms, it is safe to take Tylenol (please check with your physician first) as well as decongestants and adequate hydration. Your doctor may also prescribe Zithromax vs amoxicillin to treat bacterial superinfection.

Please DO NOT take Advil, Motrin, or Ibuprofen if there is any suspicion of COVID given its potential harmful interaction.

There have been preliminary studies about Zithromax, and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients. If you have mild symptoms at home, you DO NOT need to take Hydroxychloroquin (Plaquinil). The use of this drug should only be done in a moderate to severe clinical setting under the supervision of a doctor since it is an “off-label” use which means it should only be done at the discretion of a physician and may have an unintended side–effect profile.

On behalf of our entire team at Cosmoplastic Surgery, I want you to know we care about each and every one of you and hope that you and your family will remain in good health during this difficult time. If anything, this experience will bring us together as a family, as a community, as we aspire to a better world together since we now all know we are intricately connected to each other.

Truly Yours,

Kaveh Alizadeh MD, MSc, FACS

Chief, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Westchester Health Network
Associate Professo Surgeryr, New York Medical College

Program director and co-founder , WMC Headache Specialists
President, Cosmoplastic Surgery PLLC, Leading Innovation

Founder and Chairman, Mission:Restore; Operating Together

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March 12, 2020
Dear Patients,
Due to the recent events surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus), we are even more dedicated to keeping our patients, staff and community safe. Cosmoplastic Surgery is continuing to care for our patients during our normal business hours.  If you have a scheduled appointment, please plan to keep this appointment unless you or members of your household are experiencing symptoms of illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Our practice has longstanding protocols and systems in place to keep everyone safe.   We are also adopting the following hygiene precautions:

  • Upon entering the office, we request that you use the hand-sanitizer located at the front desk.
  • We offer disinfectant soap in our washroom, so please feel free to wash your hands frequently, as recommended by the CDC.
  • You can expect that we do not have unwell staff at work in the practice, which has always been our policy.

Here are important steps to take. These are the same for every cold and flu season and are also recommended by CDC guidelines:

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
  • Practice good hand washing hygiene as well as cough and sneeze etiquette by covering your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue.  When hand washing is not convenient or available, we recommend using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are experiencing flu like symptoms including a fever, weakness, shortness of breath or deep cough, seek prompt medical attention.

Please feel to call us with any questions.  Thank you for helping us all stay healthy. We look forward to seeing you!

Sincerely,
Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, MD, MSC, FACS
Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College
Chairman, Mission: Restore; Operating Together
Director of Clinical Research Program, Cosmoplastic Surgery PLLC

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

View Update Virtual Consultation

COVID-19 Update:

We are offering virtual consultations and are booking well into the fall and winter months. We have established strict safety protocols and are also happy to be seeing patients back in our office. Please click below to learn more from Dr. Alizadeh about COVID19.Learn More

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