, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1292-1295

Self-Reported “Worth It” Rating of Aesthetic Surgery in Social Media

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Abstract

Background

A wide variety of surveys have been used to validate the satisfaction of patients who underwent aesthetic surgery. However, such studies are often limited by patient number and number of surgeons. Social media now allows patients, on a large scale, to discuss and rate their satisfaction with procedures. The views of aesthetic procedures patients expressed in social media provide unique insight into patient satisfaction.

Methods

The “worth it” percentage, average cost, and number of respondents were recorded on October 16, 2011, for all topics evaluated on the aesthetic procedure social media site www.realself.com. Procedures were divided into categories: surgical, liposuction, nonsurgical, and dental. For each group, procedures with the most respondents were chosen and ordered by “worth it” score. A literature search was performed for the most commonly rated surgical procedures and the satisfaction rates were compared.

Results

A total of 16,949 evaluations of 159 aesthetic surgery topics were recorded. A correlation between cost of the procedure and percentage of respondents indicating that the procedure was “worth it” was not found. The highest-rated surgical procedure was abdominoplasty, with 93 % of the 1,589 self-selected respondents expressing that abdominoplasty was “worth it.” The average self-reported cost was $8,400. The highest-rated nonsurgical product was Latisse, with 85 % of 231 respondents reporting it was “worth it” for an average cost of $200. The satisfaction scores in the literature for commonly rated surgical procedures ranged from 62 to 97.6 %. No statistically significant correlations between literature satisfaction scores and realself.com “worth it” scores were found.

Conclusions

Abdominoplasty had the highest “worth it” rating among aesthetic surgical procedures. Aesthetic surgeons should be wary that satisfaction scores reported in the literature might not correlate with commonly achieved results. Social media has opened a new door into how procedures are evaluated and perceived.

Level of Evidence III

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the table of contents or the online instructions to authors www.springer.com/00266.