Plastic Surgery in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries: Role of Telemedicine

Mohamed Amir Mrad, Abdullah E. Kattan, Zuhair Al Fardan, Taghreed R. Alhumsi, Nouf A. Al Saud, Feras M. Alshomer, Shahad N. Alanazi, Qutaiba N.M. Shah Mardan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Internationally, telemedicine is finding its way into common day plastic surgery practice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, no data about its practice in the Gulf region are available to date. Methodology: This is a cross-sectional survey-based study that was sent online to the plastic surgeons practicing in the Gulf region. The study aimed to look into the integration of telemedicine into the practice and the surgeons' attitude and future vision about it. Participation was voluntary, and confidentiality was preserved. Results: A total of 229 plastic surgeons enrolled in this study in mid-2020. There were 192 male participants (83.8%) and 37 female participants (16.2%). Of these, 99 (43.2%) practiced in Saudi Arabia, 85 (37.1%) in the United Arab Emirates, 24 (10.5%) in Oman, 18 (7.9%) in Kuwait, and three (1.3%) in Bahrain. In total, 85 (37.1%) used telemedicine during lockdown, and 144 (62.9%) thought that its usage will remain beneficial in the future. There was no significant difference in practicing telemedicine in different plastic surgery subspecialties, varying level of experience, and country of practice. Among those who used virtual consultations, 62 (72.9%) did not charge for consultation fees. Conclusion: The tendency toward telemedicine integration in plastic surgery practice is growing worldwide, especially after COVID-19. Its limitations are outweighed by its advantages and, with time, many of these will be bypassed. New innovations driven by advancement in technology will further embed telemedicine into the practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E4563
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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