It’s a test and tuck.
A Manhattan cosmetic doctor plans to make house calls to rich Hamptonites offering a combo of coronavirus tests and aesthetic procedures including Botox and fillers — a controversial move giving some critics worry lines.
“Health is the number one concern but people still want to feel good and look good even if they’re home,” said Dr. Alexander Golberg, whose practice specializes in non-invasive cosmetic treatments and pain management.
“Just by leaving the house, there’s a risk, so treating patients at home minimizes that,” he told The Post.
Golberg said he wouldn’t inject Botox or fillers in a patient exhibiting symptoms and won’t offer the aesthetic procedures until mid-May when the state is expected to begin relaxing its ban on non-essential services.
On Golberg’s new website drhamptons.com, he offers a $750 package that includes a COVID-19 nasal swab test, which detects an active infection, and an antibody test to determine if the patient has ever had the virus and a vitamin immune-boosting IV.
If the patient is healthy, they can select from a range of cosmetic procedures, including a non-surgical facelift, a vampire facial, double-chin removal and lip enhancement.
Not everyone is on board with the unorthodox suite of services.
American Academy of Dermatology President Bruce Thiers called the house calls “dangerous.”
“A person’s home is an inappropriate and potentially dangerous setting for performing medical procedures of any kind,” Thiers said. “Furthermore, any patient who is being tested for COVID-19 is not an appropriate candidate for a cosmetic procedure.”
Golberg disagreed with Thiers. “For many years you have had concierge service doctors making house visits and performing procedures,” he said. “It’s safe.”
A prominent Manhattan plastic surgeon, who asked to remain anonymous, called it “imprudent.” Even if a patient doesn’t have symptoms or tests negative they could still have the virus, he said. The nasal swabs are sent to a lab and the results take a few days.
The antibody tests, which take as little as 15 minutes, have a false negative rate as high as 15 percent, he noted.
The surgeon also questioned whether personal protective gear should be used for cosmetic procedures and potentially unnecessary tests when hospitals were still facing supply shortages.
But Golberg, who has offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well as an East End summer home, said he was simply catering to the wants of his clientele.
He argued that even though the rapid antibody tests “aren’t 100 percent” he plans to confirm results with lab tests and will wear a full Tyvek suit when visiting sick patients.
Golberg added that conducting the antibody tests on as many people as possible is important to understanding and controlling the virus’ spread.
“It’s clear there is a demand for this,” he said.
Janet Notes, a licensed aesthetician with Rejuvenation NYC, a cosmetic clinic in Midtown Manhattan, said the office has had at least a dozen patients ask about house calls.
“For us, house calls aren’t appropriate,” she said, referring to when the city starts lifting restrictions. “Everyone wants to respect the health crisis and slow the curve. No one wants to be exposed.”
Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli
Source: Read Full Article