Posted by Bill Sandweg on 06 November 2017.
Apparently all is fair in social media postings by plastic surgeons seeking business. A few years ago a South Florida plastic surgeon began posting videos on social media as a marketing tool and attracted a large number of followers. Nothing succeeds like success and doctors across the country have begun to imitate him and do whatever they can to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Some of these activities seem extremely unprofessional and vulgar. The rule among these doctors seems to be that the more outrageous the behavior, the better. They include doctors and nurses breaking into dance routines in the operating room while the patient lies unconscious on the table, doctors cuddling belly fat removed during a tummy tuck and putting a baby face on it, doctors juggling breast implants, doctors wearing costumes in the operating room, and doctors offering booze and a DJ at a marketing event to take place while the doctor is operating on a patient. I could go on but you get the idea.
It would certainly seem that some of these stunts put patients at risk for infection or other injuries. Planning and interrupting a surgery to put on a performance cannot help the surgeon and staff to maintain their concentration on the job at hand. At a minimum, these stunts show a lack of respect for the patient. And best of all, some of the surgeons trolling for plastic surgery business are not trained plastic surgeons at all. They are doctors from other specialties who are chasing the money performing plastic surgery can bring. There is nothing to protect patients from these plastic surgeon wannabes other than the patient’s own good judgment in researching the credentials of any doctor who wants to operate on them.
At present, there are no rules or regulations which prohibit tasteless displays like these but that may be about to change. Doctors and medical students at Northwestern have written a proposed code of ethics to apply to videos of plastic surgery. The code was presented at a recent annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Among the principles of the ethical code are respect for the autonomy of the patient, promoting what is best for the patient, making sure to do no harm, disclosure and informed consent.
When you are shopping for something as important as a plastic surgeon, don’t fall for glitzy marketing schemes with photographs of beautiful models with perfect skin. Your appearance and your health are too important for that. Always review any potential surgeon’s credentials on the web site of your local medical board. Look for board certified plastic surgeons with no disciplinary history. Making sure your surgeon has these credentials won’t guarantee a good result; nothing and no one can do that but it will give you the best chance to get a good result.