Nationwide analysis of plastic and reconstructive procedural volume in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS








Backlog; COVID-19; Elective surgery; Operative volume; Plastic and reconstructive surgery; TriNetX


INTRODUCTION: This study aims to define the impact of the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the volume of common plastic and reconstructive procedures in the United States. METHODS: TrinetX is a national, federated database that was utilized in surveying plastic and reconstructive procedural volumes among 53 Healthcare organizations (HCO) between March 2018 and May 2021. This timeframe was divided into pre-pandemic (March 2018 to February 2020) and pandemic periods (March 2020 to May 2021). Each period was then sub-divided into four seasons of the year and the mean monthly procedural volume per HCO was compared. A student's t-tests comparing pre-pandemic and pandemic seasonal mean procedural volumes were used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: A total of 366,032 patient encounters among 53 HCO were included. The average seasonal volume per HCO of all procedures reduced from 872.11 procedures during pre-pandemic seasons to 827.36 during pandemic seasons. Spring 2020 vol declined for most procedures as 15 of 24 (63%) assessed procedure categories experienced statistically significant decreases. Spring 2021 experienced rebounds with 15 of 24 (63%) assessed procedures showing statistically significant increases. CONCLUSION: During the pandemic period, the average procedural volume per HCO of 14 procedure categories was significantly less than the pre-pandemic average procedural volume. Overall, an inverse relationship was observed between novel COVID-19 cases and plastic and reconstructive surgery procedure volumes in the United States.


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