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Branford, Olivier A. Ph.D., M.R.C.S., F.R.C.S.(Plast.); Kamali, Parisa M.D.; Rohrich, Rod J. M.D.; Song, David H. M.D., M.B.A.; Mallucci, Patrick F.R.C.S., F.R.C.S.(Plast.); Liu, Daniel Z. M.D.; Lang, Dustin B.A.; Sun, Kristi; Stubican, Miran B.A.Sc., M.D.; Lin, Samuel J. M.D., M.B.A.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: December 2016 - Volume 138 - Issue 6 - p 1354-1365
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000002814
Special Topics: Original Articles
Press Release
Video Discussion

Background: Social media use is growing inexorably, and there is public appetite for evidence-based information. Little is known about engagement by plastic surgeons with social media. The aim of this study was to examine posting about plastic surgery on Twitter, to best inform how board-certified plastic surgeons could use the hashtag #PlasticSurgery as a tool to educate patients and the public.

Methods: A prospective analysis of 2880 “tweets” containing the words “plastic surgery” was performed. The following were assessed: identity of author, use of the hashtag #PlasticSurgery, subject matter, whether link to study was provided, and whether posts by surgeons were self-promotional or educational.

Results: Social media posting about plastic surgery is dominated by the public, accounting for 70.6 percent of posts versus only 6.0 percent by plastic surgeons. Only 5.4 percent of all tweets contained the hashtag #PlasticSurgery, although almost half of those that did were by plastic surgeons. Of these, 61.3 percent of posts by plastic surgeons were about aesthetic surgery; additional posts were about basic science, patient safety, and reconstruction (13.9, 4.0, and 2.3 percent, respectively). Eighteen scientific articles were referenced, with a link to the Journal site posted in two tweets. Of posts by plastic surgeons, 37.0 percent were self-promotional.

Conclusions: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and its Journal have recognized that social media may be used to educate and engage. Board-certified plastic surgeons have a great opportunity to promote evidence-based plastic practice by means of #PlasticSurgery in the interests of supporting patients and the profession.

Video Discussion by Fawn Hogan, M.D., is Available Online for this Article.

London, United Kingdom; Boston, Mass.; Dallas, Texas; and Chicago and Zion, Ill.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, The Royal Marsden Hospital; the Division of Plastic Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School; the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute; University of Chicago Medicine; The Cadogan Clinic; Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Editorial Office; and the Department of Plastic Surgery, Charing Cross Hospital.

Received for publication March 28, 2016; accepted July 28, 2016.

Presented at Plastic Surgery The Meeting 2015, Annual Meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in Boston, Massachusetts, October 16 through 20, 2015; and the 33rd Annual Meeting of Dallas Rhinoplasty, in Dallas, Texas, March 4 through 6, 2016.

Disclosure:Dr. Rohrich is a volunteer member of the Allergan Alliance for the Future of Aesthetics and receives instrument royalties from Eriem Surgical, Inc., and book royalties from Taylor and Francis Publishing. No funding was received for this article. The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the text; simply type the URL address into any Web browser to access this content. Clickable links to the material are provided in the HTML text of this article on the Journal’s website (

A Video Discussion by Fawn Hogan, M.D., accompanies this article. Go to and click on “Video Discussions” in the “Videos” tab to watch.

Olivier A. Branford, Ph.D., M.R.C.S., F.R.C.S.(Plast.), Department of Plastic Surgery, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ, United Kingdom,, Samuel J. Lin, M.D., M.B.A., Division of Plastic Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 110 Francis Street, Suite 5A, Boston, Mass. 02215,

Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons