Skip to content

Survey Finds Social Media is Major Influence on Elective Surgery

February 21, 2013

By Cynthia Herbert :: 9:05 AM

Social media and plastic surgery decisions.Social media is leading consumers to have a more self-critical eye, according to a new survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). An annual poll of 752 of the organization’s board-certified plastic surgeons revealed that there was a 31% increase in requests for surgery as a result of social media photo sharing.

The study shows that an increasing number of procedures are cosmetic versus reconstructive in nature, accounting for 73% of all procedures in 2012, up from 62% in 2011. Of the procedures requested as a result of social media influence, rhinoplasty, Botox, and facelifts topped the list.

While social media continues to play an increasingly large role in how consumers view themselves, its influence as a trusted informational resource for plastic surgery is diminishing. Last year just 7% of prospective patients used social media to research doctors and procedures, down from 35% in 2011. Instead, 57% got their information about plastic surgery online, with 33% relying on referrals.

“Patients are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their knowledge of plastic surgery due to the obvious increases in online research and validations,” claimed Ed Williams , MD, Group Vice President for Public and Regulatory Affairs for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. “Our members are seeing a much more educated consumer base than ever before, thanks to the increased availability of information.”