Online reviews have altered the way that we select which products or services we will invest in, and, for the most part, can be a great thing. Restaurant reviews and product reviews can help prospective customers decide which one in a sea of options might best meet their needs. When it comes to online plastic surgery reviews, such as those featured on sites like RealSelf, Healthgrades and RateMDs, the effects are similar. Reviews can help prospective patients find the right doctor for their desired procedure. However, as with all online reviews, users are advised not to trust everything they read.
Understanding the Online Review Process
For one thing, most sites do little to no background checking to ensure that the information provided is correct. This goes for both surgeons and purported patients. Surgeons may choose not to list certain qualifications, such as board certification, while there is no way to tell whether patients who post reviews of surgeons are actually patients.
Surgeons also have an option to participate for free on certain sites, or purchase greater site visibility, so bear in mind that surgeons who are prominently featured may have simply bought more website space.
Forming Expectations for Your Surgery
There are a variety of ways to develop realistic expectations for your surgery. While reading online reviews or trying cosmetic surgery mobile apps may be entertaining, the best way to learn what a cosmetic enhancement can do for you is to read through your surgeon’s website. Often, surgeons post real patient before-and-after photos along with patient reviews. Finally, scheduling a consultation with your surgeon is an excellent way to gaining a deeper understanding of the results that are possible with cosmetic surgery.