Why You Shouldn’t Get Your
Plastic Surgery Advice from Social Media
Before I get started – yes, I do see the irony here. I wrote this blog post about avoiding social media for plastic surgery recovery advice, and what did I go and do? I posted it to several social media platforms. lol.
It is a fact that social media is king when it comes to reaching a large audience and getting your message out there. Honestly, it’s not social media itself that is the problem. It’s that there is no filter that allows you to only see information coming from a qualified source.
Social media platforms generally serve up the things that are the most flashy and attention-getting, not the information from the people who are qualified to speak on a subject from an educated perspective.
Now that is out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Why am I making this post?
I have people on my table every day who are nervous (or downright scared) because of things they have seen and read on social media.
Most of my sessions are spent talking people off a virtual ledge because they are so in their heads about what people have told them online. This can be from friends or people they do not know…it doesn’t matter. I hope that people who have had plastic surgery will read through this and find some comfort, because the things that go on in the social media realm are enough to make a person completely neurotic about their recovery.
In my personal experience as a licensed therapist who serves the plastic surgery recovery community, the number one worst thing that social media does is to spread around dangerous advice.
There exist posts and videos about how to reopen incisions for incisional drainage and how to drain your own seroma, for starters. This advice can be deadly. These are perfect ways to create rapid-spreading infections that can lead to sepsis (blood poisoning). In sepsis the organs can shut down and kill you in a matter of hours. It is no joke.
The people posting these “home remedies” for recovery are not medical professionals and have no liability if you end up harming yourself. And do people do these crazy things? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTEY!
The Culture of Fear, Shame, and Intimidation
Hop on any Facebook group about plastic surgery. Post a picture of yourself and ask a question about “Is this normal?” What you will get is a barage of bad advice from untrained, unlicensed people who will tell you that you are “Botched”, that you should ask for your money back, or that you are doing your post-op care wrong.
On the internet, anyone can say anything, and they will. There is almost some sort of sadistic pleasure that people take in scaring the crap out of others who are in a vulnerable state wondering if they are ok.
Why do they wonder if they are ok? Because of lack of concrete directions from their surgeons about the recovery process.
People LIE on social media. Point blank. I have seen countless Instagram posts of women claiming that they are 3 days post-op from a 360 lipo and BBL and they are in a bikini playing volleyball at the beach – or similar scenario. I’m sorry, but no. *IF* by chance this were true, which I’m pretty sure it isn’t, I’m certain that this is nowhere near the norm.
The ladies I see in my practice are usually barely able to waddle down the hallway and have a hard time getting on the table at 3 days post-op. They most certainly are not playing volleyball. They are draining everywhere and they feel and usually look terrible. That is
“Do You Want Fries With That?” – Upselling Unnecessary Services
If you have never worked retail, you may not be familiar with the term “upselling.” It means that if a person gets something at your store, you always want to add just one more thing. Upselling in and of itself isn’t wrong or unethical if the person is truly served by that extra item that a sales person suggests. That is good business – and good service.
However, there is a down side to upselling – when things are sold to people that they don’t need with the implied threat that if they don’t do these things that they will fail.
Do THIS many massages AND get cavitation AND get wood therapy OR you will have a bad result.
No. Do some people need additional things above and beyond lymphatic massage? Yes, that is true. *SOME* people, not everyone.
This is another side of the culture of fear and shame I was just discussing. You can sell better if you scare people. That’s basic marketing – appeal to the emotions, the strongest ones of which are fear and shame. I don’t know about everyone else, but to me personally this is highly unethical.
Each person is an individual and that person’s journey is unique. Might that person need some extra stuff like lumpy foam or radio frequency? It’s possible, but not everyone.
The social media platforms are full of this upselling.
Comparing Yourself to Others
comparing yourself to others. This is HUGE. I can’t emphasize enough how comparing yourself to someone else who has had plastic surgery is a TERRIBLE idea.
You are not that person. You don’t have their body. You don’t know what their state of health is. You don’t know exactly what was done in the operating room. Sure, you know they had 360 lipo, but what kind of lipo? What technique did the surgeon use? There are so, so many variables.
Many people do not realize that the post-therapy photos posted on Instagram and the like are often manipulated in some way. One common thing that makes skin look tighter is the fact that many practitioners are being too aggressive with the tissues. This causes more inflammation (swelling) that appears to tighten the skin.