Guidelines aim to curb social media use for plastic surgery — 6 insights

As more plastic surgeons rely on social media to advertise, newly proposed guidelines aim to curb the practice, MarketWatch reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. The guidelines were published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal. Robert Dorfman, third-year medical student at Chicago-based Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, coauthored the guidelines.

2. Mr. Dorfman cited two instances of potentially inappropriate behavior, resulting in the need for guidelines. In one, a plastic surgeon was cradling fat removed from a tummy-tuck in his arms like an infant. He then put a baby face on the fat using a Snapchat filter.

In another instance, physicians dressed in costumes and danced around flaunting removed body tissue on camera before a surgery.

3. Mr. Dorfman calls the practice the "Dr. Miami Effect." A Miami-based plastic surgeon posted photos of procedures online and gained 661,000 Instagram followers, which caused the practice to explode.

4. The guidelines suggest physicians obtain written consent before posting an operation on social media and inform patients they have the right to refuse or change their minds about a post. Additionally, Mr. Dorfman also suggests hiring an assistant to do the photography and/or videotaping to not interrupt the procedure.

5. A surgeon should only share things to social media if they are board certified.

6. The guidelines will be presented at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' annual meeting in Orlando Oct. 6.

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