Cosmetic Surgery on Instagram: Know Before You Go

As social media continues to increase in popularity, especially Instagram, more cosmetic procedures are being advertising to grow business. While Instagram serves as a great educational tool to prospective patients, it’s important viewers do more research beyond a 30 second clip. A new study published by researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found that less than 18% of the most popular cosmetic surgery posts were from actual board certified plastic surgeons. This is incredibly alarming as an estimated 40% of patients say social media strongly influenced their choice of doctor when undergoing cosmetic procedures (according to an Aesthetic Plastic surgery study in 2015).

Many of these popular posts came from emergency-medicine doctors and gynecologist not trained extensively in plastic surgery. This is legal in most states when done in-office as they aren’t subject to the same licensing rules as hospitals and other health-care facilities. Plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons undergo at least six years of specialized training specifically in plastic surgery to become board-certified. For non-plastics physicians, their training typically includes a weekend course with possibly up to one year of fellowship training.

“All this confusing marketing is putting people at risk,” says Clark Schierle, a board-certified plastic surgeon at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

Many of this doctors advertise they are “board-certified”, which they can do, but “board-certified” in what? Most do no specify as it’s not in plastic surgery.

Naturally, board-certified plastic surgeons who spent the time to train in plastic surgery find this upsetting. “If you want to be a plastic surgeon, then train to be a plastic surgeon,” says Dr. David Song, chairman of the plastic surgery department at Georgetown University. “If I wanted to do dental implants, then I would study to be a dentist. It is about doing it right.”

When it comes to cosmetic surgery on Instagram, look into more than the pictures they show. Viewers need to be aware that before and after photos can be “tweaked” to make results look better than they actual are. It’s so important to do some research…look for training, experience, and competency.

Said by Dr. Niamtu,”Be aware of people who do procedures name after themselves, who promise “maximum results with minimum recovery” or “miraculous” outcomes. Those are all red flags.” For the full article, visit The Wall Street Journal HERE.

At Utah Facial Plastics, BOTH our facial plastic surgeons are board-certified in otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) as well as facial plastic surgeon. Both have also completed extensive fellowships and have 10-15 years experience in facial plastic surgery. Learn more Dr. Thompson’s credentials HERE, and Dr. Henstrom’s credentials HERE.


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