Did you know that a poll conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed that the “selfie” (taking photos of yourself) craze has increased the demand for facial plastic surgery?
Here is an actual quote from a patient: “Dr. Athré, you can see in this selfie that the right side of my nose looks bigger than my left. But it doesn’t look that way in the mirror.”
The study showed that 58% of polled facial plastic surgeons saw an increased demand for facial plastic procedures with patients citing that their main motivation was to improve how they look in a selfie.
The selfie has become a cultural staple of our technology diet in the 21st century. What originally started as a simple way to capture a candid moment has become so mainstream that the average millennial is expected to take at least 25,700 selfies in their lifetime! To put this into perspective, the average lifespan is 27,375 days—that is more than one selfie a day through one’s adult life.
Although all of this technology is amazing, it does have some downsides. First of all, a study out of Rutgers University showed that selfies are normally taken at such an angle that they overestimate the size of one’s nose. This prompts patients to seek a rhinoplasty procedure where their nose may actually be quite proportional. Therefore, it has become more important than ever that the truly qualified physicians separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Personally, there have been many times where I have noticed that patients bring in selfies and modified selfies (i.e. filters), to their consultation. The concept of expectation management at this point is crucial to success.
The technology to modify selfies is also a great tool to visualize what potential results may be, but at the same time can also place unrealistic expectations on the surgeon and inside the mind of the patient.
My motto is: cosmetic surgery is performed to enhance the patient’s image and their self-esteem. The results should be natural and aesthetically proportioned.