Just take a look at the phenomenally popular Dr. Michael Salzhauer aka Dr. Miami on Snapchat.
Dr Miami has gained a sizeable following on the social networking platform, thanks to graphic live surgery snaps meant to destigmatize plastic surgery.
Through the years, surgery and its various subspecialties evolved from being an art and science into a business – all thanks to the advancement of technology and changes in modern society.
The effects of technology are palpable in Miami plastic surgery. Here, plastic surgeons flock to social media to flaunt and market their expertise to potential clients.
Another plastic surgeon who has seen success on Snapchat is Dr. Matthew Schulman, whose snaps gather around half a million view – mostly from millennials aged 18 to 40.
Even Instagram proves to be a valuable platform for cosmetic surgeons, such as in the case of Dr. Sandra Lee aka Dr. Pimple Popper, who records blackhead extractions for her 1.6 million audience on Instagram.
But technology is a double-edged sword.
While technology certainly injected more fun and sophistication in the physician-patient relationship, it also paved the way for the rise of the patient as a business client.
A patient is no longer a person that just needs to be treated. She is now a customer that needs to be served.
If used in excess, technology could transform plastic surgery into a mere money-making industry. Surgeons might prioritize financial gains over safety and satisfactory results.
Traditional tenets of physician-patient relationships like honesty, patient confidentiality, and delivery of top-notch service could also be compromised.
The Way Dr. Masri Uses Technology
Since the advent of the Internet, plastic surgery information has been made available to the public using various channels – whether it be via a computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile smartphone.
You can also get information from social media channels like Instagram and Snapchat, where Dr Miami regularly posts.
As a technology-savvy plastic surgeon, Dr. Masri provides helpful Miami plastic surgery content through original blog posts on his website, Facebody.net.
He also posts 3D imaging videos derived from Understand.com to guide you in your chosen procedure further.
You are also free to explore his photo gallery of plastic surgery before and after photos. It gives a better insight into the procedure you’re thinking of getting.
You may also find him answering patient questions over at RealSelf – all for the goal of educating you on the latest cosmetic procedures.
Mobile devices have improved contact and access to patients and physicians like Dr Miami. It is now easier to find physicians via Internet directories and their websites.
The use of Facetime and Skype for doctor/patient consultation purposes has also enhanced pre-operative consultations and post-operative care for local and overseas patients.
Telemedicine, which involves patients snapping photos of their concerns and sending them directly to the plastic surgeon, has upgraded communication and the efficiency of treatments.
Scheduling appointments through phone, the Internet, chats, and other messaging services has also become easier because of technology.
Better Patient Experience
The use of technologically-advanced surgical devices, sutures, equipment, and treatment has enriched the patient experience. It also led to shorter downtime and better outcomes.
Examples of such devices included Wound VAC SPY Imaging or perfusion angiography, INSORB dermal stapler, STRATAFIX suture, fibrin glue sealant, Prineo surgical dressing, and anesthesia TAP blocks for pain management.
Aside from that, Dr. Masri uses digital imaging to represent patient expectations accurately. Having good before and after photos helped his patients manage expectations and achieve more satisfying results.
Superior Facilities and Standards
As a plastic surgeon, Dr. Masri makes sure that his operating areas abide by the rigorous credentials that also govern hospital operating rooms.
Thanks to technology, he is able to maintain negative airflow systems for sterility. He also fulfills quality control measures and safety checklists to maintain the highest standards in plastic surgery. His Miami clinic has credentialed staff that can provide immediate access to hospital personnel and equipment in case of emergencies.
The Way Dr. Masri DOES NOT Use Technology
The role of the plastic surgeon has changed over the years, largely because of various television shows such as Extreme Makeovers, Nip/Tuck, Miami Slice, Dr. Rey, Dr Miami, and Botched.
Unfortunately, the primary goal of these shows is to entertain the (voyeuristic) public. Much less emphasis was made on reasonable and safe medical care. These productions are filled with inaccuracies – all for the sake of entertaining the public.
Thus, society now perceives plastic surgeons as mere actors or entertainers. Some of them appear more concerned with their performances and images on TV and social media than with the patients they treat.
It is disheartening how this public view has discounted the years of schooling and training that board-certified plastic surgeons underwent.
It is undeniable that technology has paved the way for the promotion of our practice in various ways.
Plastic surgery is still a business that stands to profit from technological advancements. The ubiquity of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat has led many plastic surgeons like Dr Miami to use these platforms to their advantage and as tools for consumerism.
I understand that there are competent, well trained, board certified plastic surgeons that use these modalities. However, I disagree with supporting the perception it creates. It has created a cosmetic industry that thrives on physician self-promotion and simulated surgical photorealism that is omnipresent in our fashion and entertainment industry.
Various levels of self-promotion and voyeurism through social media have muddied the plastic surgery waters and created a free for all misrepresentation through fake news and misinformation.
Even the popular simulated visual imaging computer technology can be misleading. It does not offer accurate representations of post-operative expectations on most procedures.
Elimination of Human Interface
Automated appointment scheduling can help manage the time of both patients and plastic surgeons. But it should not be done at the expense of human interaction.
Even the most advanced digital devices cannot replace face-to-face consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Unfortunately, the emergence of the patient as a business client has also acted as a communication barrier between the patient and the physician.
Ancillary medical specialties, like medical assistants and nurse practitioners, have assumed the responsibilities of patient care that once solely rested on the physician to provide better customer service.
As a result, personal interaction between the patient and the doctor is severely limited. It undermines the foundation of a trusting relationship.
Quick and easy – that is the trend of plastic surgery these days.
More and more people want quick and easy procedures these days.
Unfortunately, various medical procedures – like Cool Sculpting, Thermage, and laser permanent hair removal – do not demonstrate reproducible results for the majority of those treated.
Another example is Lunchtime Lipo, which offers a misleading and fake depiction of the serious health considerations and safety of any surgical procedure.
The role of the physician as a caring and compassionate individual who puts his patients’ needs above all else should always take center stage – even with the presence of technological advancements.