Social Media and Plastic Surgery

Social media is having an impact on many aspects of life and plastic surgery is no exception.  Plastic surgeons are increasingly reporting that more and more patients are coming to them to request procedures because they hate the way they look online.

Forums like Skype and Facebook are contributing to an increase in demand for plastic surgery procedures like facelifts and nose jobs.  The phenomenon is becoming so coming that some surgeons have designed procedures designed specifically to accommodate patients unhappy with close up views of their appearance on social-networking sites.

It seems that social media images offer people an alternate perspective on how they look by showing off fatty and unsightly parts of their body which they had not been aware of before.

One surgeon has developed a specific procedure related to the issue called a ‘FaceTime Facelift.’

‘People don’t come in asking for a FaceTime Facelift per se…what they’ll say is, “I don’t like the way I look when I’m video-chatting. I seem full and heavy under the neck.’

Dr. Adam Schaffner, a New York plastic surgeon also confirms that more and more people have come to his office because they were unhappy with their presence online.

‘With a good degree of frequency, people will come in and say, “I saw myself in the mirror, but I didn’t really notice it until I saw myself on Facebook or on my iPhone or iPad…When you look in the mirror you’re seeing the mirror image of yourself. But when you see yourself on social media, you’re seeing yourself the way the world sees you.’

One patient reported that she got a facelift after deciding that she had an unattractive chin and wrinkles while chatting with someone on Skype.

She felt that her chin looked double its actual size: ‘Going on Skype or FaceTime you definitely see it – it looks twice as big as it normally is.

Technology is changing all the time and if the camera adds ten pounds, it seems that online video forums may add at least that or at least magnify perceived facial imperfections.  It will be interesting to see how much of an impact social media has on plastic surgery and the types of procedures performed because of it.

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