Most of the tweets about plastic surgery are about celebrities while only a few of those are posted by credentialed plastic surgeons that offer evidence-based information, a study has revealed.
“Twitter provides a great opportunity to engage with and educate patients and the public about plastic surgery, but all too often, the conversation is dominated by celebrity gossip and marketing by practitioners who are not Board-certified plastic surgeons,” said lead researcher Olivier Alexandre Branford from The Royal Marsden Hospital, London.
The researchers analysed 2,900 tweets — including the words “plastic surgery” — and found that only six per cent of tweets about plastic surgery were actually made by plastic surgeons while 70 per cent were posted by the public.
While the researchers believe that Twitter “may be the best-suited platform to fulfil the role of public education and engagement,” the study reveals that a high percentage — 37 per cent — of tweets with hashtag “PlasticSurgery” by plastic surgeons were self-promotional.
It also noted that only five per cent of tweets included the “PlasticSurgery” hashtag.
The report, published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that 50 per cent of the tweets were about celebrity plastic surgery while 44 per cent were about aesthetic surgery.
Only a few posts provided information about the basic science of plastic surgery, patient safety issues or topics related to reconstructive surgery.
The researchers suggested plastic surgeons to reclaim plastic surgery from the tabloid press, celebrity gossip and cosmetic quackery in the interests of public safety and quality outcomes.