HealthDay News — According to a study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, social media postings about plastic surgery are dominated by the public, with only a few posts from actual plastic surgeons.

Oliver Branford, PhD, from The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, and colleagues analyzed 2880 tweets containing the words “plastic surgery” to examine posting about plastic surgery on Twitter and how board-certified plastic surgeons could use social media to educate patients and the public.

The researchers found that most social media posting about plastic surgery came from the public (70.6% of posts), while 6.0% of posts were by plastic surgeons. Only 5.4% of tweets contained the hashtag #Plastic Surgery, and almost half of these were posted by plastic surgeons. 

Of the posts by plastic surgeons, 61.3% were about aesthetic surgery; other posts related to basic science, patient safety and reconstruction (13.9, 4.0 and 2.3%, respectively). There were references to 18 scientific articles, and 2 tweets linked to the journal site. About 37.0% of posts by plastic surgeons were self-promotional.

“The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and its Journal have recognized that social media may be used to educate and engage,” the authors write. “Board-certified plastic surgeons have a great opportunity to promote evidence-based plastic practice by means of #PlasticSurgery in the interests of supporting patients and the profession.”

One author disclosed ties to the Allergan Alliance for the Future of Aesthetics and Eriem Surgical Inc.

Reference

Branford OA, et al. “#PlasticSurgery”. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016. 138(6): 1354-1365. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000002814. [Epub ahead of print]

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