Plastic Surgery And Social Media

By: Hassan Alnaeem MD FRCSC, Samuel Lin MD FACS

Plastic Surgeon Social MediaPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Why plastic surgeries are so popular on social media?

More than ever, the public wants access to the operating room. They want to see what plastic surgeons do and how they do it- preferably in real-time. Before and after photographs on our websites may not be enough to convey the quality of work. Patients are learning about our specialty and our personal practices of plastic surgery through social media. More so, they are learning about our hobbies, where we travel, family activities, and more. More often than not, patients are seeing us in consultation with a clear perception of who we are and what we can accomplish for them (1).

As a patient, what should I look for in a plastic surgeon's social media account?

Always look for long term results, preferably 1 year after surgery. Also, read the ratings and the comments of previous patients, while understanding that patient reviews can be at times be false; negative reviews can be left by nearly anyone, including non-patients. Always ask previous patients about their experience with the surgeon (1). Read about her/his credentials, qualifications and weather he performed the procedure you are interested in before rather that counting how many followers in his/her account (2).

As a plastic surgeon, what are the incentives for opening a social media account?

One major mission is teaching the principles of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery to all who follow us and educate them about real plastic surgery and real plastic surgeons. We must strive to have a major presence in social media as board-certified plastic surgeons and use the most advanced technology and best evidence-based medicine to promote our field (1). Plastic surgeons have a proud history in innovation and leadership; we should lead by example the professional and ethical use of social media3. Besides that, social media ubiquity, potential marketing and patient education are among the top incentives to open a social media account (3).

plastic surgeon and social mediaPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

What are the most likely concerns of social media in plastic surgery?

The most commonly cited concerns are maintenance of professionalism, protecting a patient’s privacy and the blurring of professional and personal boundaries (3).

What is the most popular way to find a plastic surgeon nowadays?

A study showed that most people are utilizing Google to look for a plastic surgeon followed by physician rating websites. However, the most influential way of selecting a plastic surgeon may still be by visiting his/her website (2,4).


1. Rohrich RJ, Dayan E, Xue AS. Social Media in Plastic Surgery: The Future Is Now? Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019;144(6):1509-1510.

2. Nayak LM, Linkov G. Social Media Marketing in Facial Plastic Surgery: What Has Worked? Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2019;27(3):373-377.

3. Schoenbrunner A, Gosman A, Bajaj AK. Framework for the Creation of Ethical and Professional Social Media Content. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019.

4. Fan KL, Graziano F, Economides JM, Black CK, Song DH. The Public's Preferences on Plastic Surgery Social Media Engagement and Professionalism: Demystifying the Impact of Demographics. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019;143(2):619-630.

For more information, visit Dr. Samuel Lin's social media: