Facial Rejuventation Today

Selfies May Improve Healing After Cosmetic Surgery

Our obsession with snapping selfies led to an uptick in facial plastic surgery procedures — a fact that has been well documented in consumer surveys and anecdotal evidence alike. It also gave rise to a cottage industry hawking selfie sticks and other apparatus that aim to make taking selfies simpler.

Fully 87 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 34 have taken a photograph of themselves and uploaded it to a social media website, according to Statista. On top of that, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reports that one in three facial plastic surgeons report an increase in requests for procedures due to “selfie” awareness. So the selfie craze clearly is have some surprising effects.

Case in point, there’s a new selfie study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal that is getting a bit of attention in the world of plastic surgery. A potentially life-saving use for selfies tied to improved post-op care.

Approximately 96 percent of people who sent selfies of themselves to their surgeons in the first few days following their plastic surgery procedure reported a better post-op experience. And in three cases, doctors detected early complications thanks to the images.

Selfies may show the early signs of dangerous post-surgery infections, including redness, swelling and pus. Sending a selfie to the doctor can also reassure nervous nellies who are concerned that their swelling or bruising is out of the ordinary or taking too long to subside.

This sort of telemedicine will never take the place of in-person post-op care, but it does have a role to play — especially during the post-op period.

In an interview with Cleveland Clinic’s Consult QD, lead study author James Zins, MD, Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, points out that “research suggests patients do not like to use telemedicine if it replaces an office visit, but this was an adjunct interaction that was able to allay worries until the regularly scheduled postsurgical visit. This is a very important issue and points to an opportunity to bring patients and physicians closer together and improve the quality of care.”

Speak with your surgeon about whether or not a selfie or two might be incorporated into your treatment plan as a supplement to your post-op care.