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Does the Media Misrepresent Plastic Surgery?

Does the Media Misrepresent Plastic Surgery?

Plastic surgery continues to be one of the most talked about medical fields in mainstream media. Elective aesthetic procedures by celebrities and normal people alike are of extreme interest to the general public, enough so that many TV shows, internet blogs and magazines devote themselves entirely to the topic. While this allows for much publicity, typically plastic surgery is seen in a negative light following ridiculous procedures and botched results from unqualified practitioners. As with most news, bad news is always the most interesting.

Dr. Ned Snyder IV from Austin, Texas and Dr. Caroline Glicksman of New Jersey sit down to discuss plastic surgery’s place in mainstream media and whether or not the sensationalized stories are appropriate for patients.

By: Caroline A. Glicksman, MD /Ned Snyder IV, MD
and Adam McMillon

Plastic Surgery and the Media

Nested Sequence 15.Still002Nowadays it seems that bad news is much more popular than good news, but maybe it’s always been that way! Plastic surgery is no exception when it comes to media stories; botched procedures, seemingly “crazy” people having equally crazy procedures done to make themselves ready for the circus, or simply a celebrity who got a bit too much done. For the casual person not particularly educated on plastic surgery, how are they supposed to know about the positive results that make up the vast majority of procedures?

“I think most of the information presented in the media is not good, and most of the plastic surgery mentioned is sensationalized,” says Dr. Snyder. “Much of what we see are bad outcomes, or not great outcomes, and gives the public the wrong message about what plastic surgery is.”

Perhaps you are interested in a plastic surgery procedure to smooth some wrinkles, or repair your stretched abdomen after having children. How are you supposed to have confidence when famous people appear in the media with poor results?

plastic-surgery-3Taking the Good with the Bad

While the negativity may be overwhelming, Dr. Glicksman has a different perspective. “Any awareness, any information gets the ball rolling,” she says. “It gets patients curious to seek out more information. Most women see something on TV, then go to the internet, then read some more, then go to a consultation, so I think it approves awareness.” Indeed, we are living in the internet age, a time when a quick Google search brings up more information than you know what to do with. Patients now have the opportunity to read about procedures, compare surgeons and even read reviews from past patients all from the comfort of their home.

That’s not to say that healthy skepticism isn’t a requirement when reading celebrity gossip and tabloids. “Credibility is questionable, the shows have to be taken with a grain of salt,” says Glicksman. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.” We live in a time when information is abundant and at our disposal, a time when board certified plastic surgeons lend their patient’s results to their websites in order for would-be patients to take a look and see that the results of an expert are exactly what they’re looking for.

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