Nav: Home

Online reviews of plastic surgeons -- study looks at differences between happy and unhappy patients

April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018 - Good cosmetic results are an important factor - but not the only factor - differentiating positive versus negative reviews for plastic surgeons on Google, Yelp, and other online review sites, according to a special topic paper in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Factors such as communication with the surgeon and interactions with office staff also have an impact on whether plastic surgery patients are happy or unhappy, according to the study by ASPS Member Surgeon John Y.S. Kim, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and colleagues.

"We found that that patients will write negative reviews without ever having had the surgery," Dr. Kim comments. "It's not just the aesthetic outcome but also the patient's interactions with surgeon and staff that provide the impetus for positive or negative reviews."

The 'New Word of Mouth' - What Factors Influence Plastic Surgeon Ratings?

The researchers analyzed patient ratings of plastic surgeons on three popular review websites: Google, Yelp, and RealSelf, which is dedicated to plastic/cosmetic surgery ratings. The study included more than 1,000 reviews related to breast augmentation surgery in six metropolitan areas: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and Miami. The analysis focused on the 10 or 20 most-reviewed plastic surgeons in each market.

Overall, 87.5 percent of reviews were positive (4 or 5 stars), while 12.5 percent were negative (1 or 2 stars). Negative reviews were significantly longer than positive reviews. The number of online reviews for breast augmentation rose steadily during the study period (2011 to 2016).

The cosmetic results of breast augmentation seemed to be the most important factor affecting surgeon ratings - nearly 70 percent of positive reviews cited good cosmetic outcomes. Other characteristics mentioned in positive reviews included good bedside manner, friendly/helpful office staff, surgeon expertise, and listening to the patient.

By comparison, 50 percent of negative reviews mentioned disappointment in the cosmetic results. Other contributors to negative reviews included not listening to the patient, lack of surgeon competence, and not acknowledging or taking responsibility for poor results. Cost was infrequently mentioned in good reviews, but more often mentioned in bad reviews.

Many negative reviews - close to 40 percent - were written by patients who did not actually undergo breast augmentation performed by the surgeon they were reviewing. Themes of these reviews included "rudeness" or "curtness" of the surgeon and the brief time of the consultation. "These sentiments stopped the reviewers from proceeding with the surgery but motivated them to leave negative reviews online," the researchers write.

Based on their analysis, Dr. Kim and colleagues highlight some "critical traits" for patient satisfaction. In addition to good cosmetic results, these included the perception that the surgeon is highly skilled, answered all questions, and listened to the patient.

Other factors were associated with negative reviews but were considered "redeemable traits." For example, some patients experienced complications but still gave good reviews because they appreciated the proactive follow-up and empathic care provided by the surgeon.

"In the rapidly changing marketplace of plastic surgery, online reviews are rapidly becoming the new 'word of mouth,' with significant potential to influence patient referrals," Dr. Kim and colleagues conclude. "Nuanced understanding of these reviews may allow for development of concomitant surgeon strategies to improve patient satisfaction."

An accompanying commentary by Dr. David B. Sarwer - a psychologist experienced in working with plastic surgery patients - highlights the "paramount importance" of good patient-provider communication in cosmetic surgery. He writes, "Establishing a strong, compassionate professional relationship at the onset will likely increase patient satisfaction rates and also provide an important foundation of support if an undesired outcome occurs."
-end-
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Click here to read "Happy and Unhappy Patients: A Quantitative Analysis of Online Plastic Surgeon Reviews for Breast Augmentation."

DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004268

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For more than 70 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 7,000 physician members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the health, tax & accounting, finance, risk & compliance, and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Wolters Kluwer, headquartered in the Netherlands, reported 2017 annual revenues of €4.4 billion. The company serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide.

Wolters Kluwer Health is a leading global provider of trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students with advanced clinical decision support, learning and research and clinical intelligence. For more information about our solutions, visit http://healthclarity.wolterskluwer.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @WKHealth.

Wolters Kluwer Health

Related Plastic Surgery Articles:

The psychosocial benefits of plastic surgery for young women with congenital breast asymmetry
Nearly all women have breasts that are slightly different from each other.
Age-related features of facial anatomy for increase safety during plastic surgery
Researchers from the Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine together with colleagues from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, University of Munich and Sechenov University used computed tomography to analyze the individual anatomy of the nasolabial triangle.
New study examines the accuracy of plastic surgery videos on social media
In the era of 'Dr. Google,' social media is a tremendous influence on patients interested in cosmetic surgery, and with more than two billion users -- representing almost one-third of the internet -- YouTube has emerged as an essential platform for reaching people interested in plastic surgery.
Facial plastic surgery in men enhances perception of attractiveness, trustworthiness
In the first of a kind study, plastic surgeons at Georgetown University found that when a man chose to have facial plastic surgery, it significantly increased perceptions of attractiveness, likeability, social skills, or trustworthiness.
More men undergo plastic surgery as the daddy-do-over trend rises in popularity
Just as women can turn to a suite of procedures, known as the 'Mommy Makeover,' more men are embracing their own set of treatments, the 'Daddy Do-Over,' to boost their confidence and improve their physical appearance.
New plastic surgery statistics reveal trends toward body enhancement
New data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows there were nearly a quarter million more cosmetic procedures performed in 2018 than the previous year.
How common is persistent opioid use after plastic, reconstructive surgery?
This study examined how common persistent opioid use was after plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures of the nose, eye, breast, abdomen and soft tissue.
CRISPR gene editing will find applications in plastic and reconstructive surgery
The CRISPR genome editing technique promises to be a 'transformative leap' in genetic engineering and therapy, affecting almost every area of medicine.
Patient satisfaction with plastic surgery -- it's the surgeon, not the practice
Patient satisfaction after plastic surgery is most affected by surgeon-related factors, such as taking the time to answer questions and including patients in the decision-making process, reports a study in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
YouTube is source of misinformation on plastic surgery, Rutgers study finds
In the first study to evaluate YouTube videos on facial plastic surgery procedures, Rutgers University researchers found that most are misleading marketing campaigns posted by non-qualified medical professionals.
More Plastic Surgery News and Plastic Surgery Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.