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Plastic Surgery Blog

Do You Browse Plastic Surgery Pics on Instagram?


Social media drives the demand for plastic surgery in all generations, but particularly among Millennial women. This demographic has had the largest increase in demand for cosmetic procedures. This is because younger women are beginning to see that improving their bodies is possible, having witnessed so many celebrities making alterations on their own bodies. In fact, in a survey taken by The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 42 percent of surgeons said that looking better in selfies was an incentive for their patients.

While it's fascinating to see how plastic surgery trends among the rich and famous filter down into the general population, it's important to note that on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, all that glitters is not gold. There are frauds out there, and you should be aware of them and take care to avoid doctors and other practitioners who lack proper credentials or experience.

Instagram is a visual medium, with its 700 million monthly active users all over the world frequently submitting pictures. It is also searchable via hashtag and therefore serves as a unique form of advertising for plastic surgeons. Unfortunately, Instagram isn't set up for any sort of regulation which means that it's an easy medium for unqualified practitioners to go fishing for patients. This August researchers published the results of a study about Instagram and its plastic surgery content in Aesthetic Surgery Journal. They focused on answering three questions:

  1. What plastic surgery-related content is being posted to Instagram?
  2. Who is posting this content?
  3. What specific hashtags are they using?

In examining almost 1.8 million posts tagged with plastic surgery hashtags, including #liposuction, #breastimplant, and #plasticsurgery, these researchers found that foreign plastic surgeons made the greatest number of posts, followed by doctors who are not certified to perform plastic surgery, including dentists, dermatologists, and spa aestheticians. Only 17.8% of Instagram posts containing these hash tags were posted by board certified plastic surgeons. Less than one in five posts with plastic surgery hashtags were by board certified plastic surgeons!

Why is this important? It's important because "patients who put their bodies in the hands of physicians deserve to know that those physicians are highly trained and held to a high standard of both education and experience. Choosing a surgeon carefully is important, not only from a health and safety perspective, but because this is the person you will communicate with about your body and your concerns, and you need to have trust and confidence in his abilities and character."

Proof of board certification is the best indicator a patient can have that a plastic surgeon is fully educated and trained. Surgery is something patients must take seriously, both for safety and outcome, so they should ask questions and make sure that their surgeon has both the proper background and that they are comfortable communicating their needs, desires, and questions with him or her.

Dr. Bancroft and Dr. Feldman are both board certified plastic surgeons, and we at Bancroft Feldman welcome any questions about our facility, our procedures, and the experiences of our patients. It's important to us that our patients are confident they are making the right choices for themselves. If you have a question about plastic surgery or would like schedule a consultation, call any time. We are happy to hear from you, and no question is too small or insignificant!

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