Plastic surgery is a very visual art and science, and what looks best is in the eye of the beholder. It’s no wonder so many people are turning to Instagram to find a great plastic surgeon. However, this practice can be dangerous if you’re not careful! Here are some tips for finding a plastic surgeon on Instagram—one you can trust with your health and your looks.
Understand the Facts
A recent study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal conducted by Northwestern Medicine proves that lots of people are promoting their plastic surgery practices on Instagram—but most of them aren’t board-certified plastic surgeons. They looked at almost 1.8 million posts that used 21 hashtags connected to plastic surgery, such as #facelift, #plasticsurgery, #liposuction, #breastimplant, and #nosejob, including the top nine posts for each of the hashtags. Most came from foreign surgeons, and the second largest number of posts came from dentists, gynecologists, dermatologists, spa aestheticians, and other doctors that are not certified to perform plastic surgery.
These doctors are allowed to perform cosmetic surgery legally, but since they aren’t certified, their level of expertise and training can vary wildly. Board-certified plastic surgeons were responsible for only 17.8 percent of the Instagram posts. Worse still, some of the posters were not even doctors, and were doing procedures that were not even close to safe—so it pays to be very cautious looking through these images on Instagram.
Look Closely at the Images
See a beautiful image that you’re dying to emulate? Examine it closely. Sometimes images on social media aren’t what they seem to be. While an air-brushed image is appealing, real before and after photos look like real people, and they show you what you can actually expect from a plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedure.
Look Past the Photos
Anyone can post a gorgeous-looking photo, but what are the rest of the facts about your potential surgeon? Even if the procedure you’re considering isn’t a surgery, cosmetic procedures always require skill, experience, and talent. A photo isn’t enough evidence, because it can be Photoshopped, a stock image, or just someone else’s work. Make sure you actually check every surgeon’s credentials before taking the plunge.
If you find a prospective surgeon through Instagram, be ready to pepper them with questions. Ask them about where they got their images, and whether they worked on the people whose images they posted. If they didn’t, where are the images of their patients? Make sure you see their actual handiwork so you know what to consider as you make your decision.
Making a Great Decision
Everyone uses social media, and there’s no reason why Instagram can’t be part of your search for the right plastic surgeon if it’s one of your favorite platforms. However, you need to be prepared to be a savvy media consumer to make the best decision possible. By keeping these tips for finding a plastic surgeon on Instagram in mind, you’ll be prepared to make the right choice.