The practice of cosmetic surgery has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initial measures for mitigating the spread of the virus have resulted in the initial cessation of elective surgical procedures, including most cosmetic procedures. Simultaneously, the stress from working at home, combined with increased focus on physical appearances in light of teleconferencing and video calling, has actually increased the demand for cosmetic procedures. As such, the industry is currently in a state of flux, with the ability of companies to adapt to changes from the pandemic being the determining factor in whether companies fail or thrive.
Dr. Chad Deal’s Southern Surgical Arts is one such cosmetic surgery company that, with a combination of foresight, ability, and hard work, was able to thrive in spite of the pandemic. Much of their success is from Dr. Deal’s ability to predict the long-term changes caused by COVID-19 and initiate the appropriate changes in his company. Some of the biggest changes Dr. Deal anticipated include the increase in demand for virtual consultations, the importance of social media marketing, and the increase in popularity of content related to health, beauty, and fitness.
To capitalize on these developments, Dr. Deal worked from home for 12 to 15 hours a day during the pandemic. He devoted every day to working on online promotions for Southern Surgical Arts, creating a variety of social media content on his Instagram, and of course, serving patients through virtual consultations. Dr. Deal recalls how he would hold more than 20 consultation sessions on a daily basis and how this, in combination with his online promotional work, left his voice hoarse during the early parts of the pandemic.
However, all of these would eventually result in lucrative rewards for Dr. Deal and Southern Surgical Arts. His Instagram channel, which combines education, information, and promotion with each piece of content, has now reached almost 500,000 followers. This has worked wonders for both Dr. Deal’s personal brand and that of Southern Surgical Arts, which soon saw patients flying from as far as California and Los Angeles to utilize their services in their facility at Chattanooga, Tennessee.
This, combined with equally tireless work providing online consultations ahead of the competition, allowed Southern Surgical Arts to rise to the top during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s growth in 2020 has allowed it to go from a local to a national company, grow to 50 employees, and earn $9.5 million in gross sales for 2020.
Southern Surgical Arts’ history of excellence, however, goes further beyond. Prior to the pandemic, the company’s locations in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Ooltewah, Tennessee; and Calhoun, Georgia, have already distinguished themselves as some of the best cosmetic surgery facilities in their areas. The company boasts highly-experienced and highly-trained staff, meticulous commitment to ensuring the best in quality and safety for their patients, and some of the newest state-of-the-art facilities in the country. These distinctions have allowed Southern Surgical Arts to become the first company in the United States to earn the Center of Excellence in Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring from the international nonprofit organization Surgical Review Corporation (SRC) in 2019.
Dr. Chad Deal himself is similarly accomplished, being a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon with over 4,800 successful cosmetic surgical procedures on his record. Dr. Deal’s surgical skill and artistic vision have made him publicly renowned with various awards for cosmetic surgery, including Best Cosmetic Surgeon in Chattanooga for 2016 and 2017 and Patient’s Choice Award, and The Most Compassionate Doctor Award on Vitals.com. At the same time, he remains active in various academic and professional organizations in the field. He trains talented surgeons as a faculty of Southern Surgical Arts’ American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery’s Fellowship Program, is an American Board of Cosmetic Surgery examiner, and serves actively on the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship Committee.