Instagram is flooded with photos of body confident fitness buffs and bikini models who are setting the standard for #bodygoals. So unsurprisingly, the platform has become a popular avenue for people to find a plastic surgeon on Instagram. However, recent findings have revealed that caution must be used when searching Instagram for plastic surgery services.
According to an article by CBS News, the majority of plastic surgery hashtags originate from accounts of physicians who aren’t board certified plastic surgeons. Meaning that the average user searching Plastic Surgeon on Instagram will be likely be sent to a physician’s page who is not credible. The article also went on to detail a few other compelling statistics:
- Four out of five top Instagram posts with plastic surgery-related hashtags come from providers who aren’t eligible for membership in the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery(ASPS)
- 26% of top Instagram posts about plastic surgery come from physicians in other specialties (ex: gynecologists, dermatologists, general surgeons)
- 5% of posts were from non-physicians doing plastic surgery at dentist offices, spas and hair salons
It is always alarming to learn plastic surgery procedures are being performed by unqualified people. Despite the scary news though, you can still find a reputable plastic surgeon on Instagram. By looking out for a few key factors, you can identify whether or not a plastic surgeon is worth considering.
(Hash)tag – You’re It!
Plastic surgery providers will often add generic hashtags such as #plasticsurgery, #tummytuck or #boardcertified to their Instagram posts, but these do nothing to reveal credibility. Here are some examples of industry hashtags you should be looking for:
- #ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)
- #ASAPS and #trustASAPS (Aesthetic Society)
- #IASPS (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic surgery)
- #BAAP (The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons)
- #AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities)
When observing a post, see if they include hashtags related to a certification society. Often in my own Instagram posts, I will include the #ASPS hashtag myself.
For plastic surgeons outside of the U.S., research the premier associations in their operating country and see if they use their associated hashtags within their Instagram posts.
Judge their Bio
You can learn a lot about a plastic surgeon from what they choose and what they don’t choose to share. The Instagram bio offers a large opportunity for a provider to sell what makes them the best choice for a plastic surgeon. Any proficient plastic surgeon will include their degree/title, a statement such as “Board Certified Plastic Surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery” and a link to their website. With my own Instagram bio, I made sure to include all of that information to establish my credibility.
If a plastic surgeon omits any of that information, then proceed with caution until you can verify their certification to be safe.
Do a Certification Check
While many plastic surgery service providers try to cover up their lack of credentials, there will always be a board-certified plastic surgeon on Instagram who is simply not good at using the platform. So, before jumping to conclusions, you can search the following online databases to check if a plastic surgeon has been certified by the leading industry associations:
- The American Board of Plastic Surgery’s website
- The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery website
- International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery website
- The American Board of Medical Specialties website
Start the Instagram Search
I guarantee you can verify if a doctor is a board-certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery by following this advice. However, while researching online helps, contacting the plastic surgeon and asking them specific questions in person will help you discern if they are a credible choice and the right choice for you.
Are you interested in learning more about plastic surgery and board certifications? Contact Dr. Wigoda today for a free plastic surgery consultation or download our free ebook.
Image source: kaboompics Image source: Instagram