Plastic Surgery for the Sake of Snapchat? A Doctor’s Take

Dr. David Stoker

Women Taking a SelfieWith autumn’s arrival, the holiday season is starting to creep into our consciousness. If you’re like us, you’ll be spending lots of time with your friends and loved ones … and that means selfies! In an era so defined by smartphone self-portraits, augmented reality apps like Snapchat can have a real impact on the way users perceive themselves.

Snapchat and Dysmorphic Disorders

While I don’t want to be alarmist, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for these apps and the behaviors they inspire to lead down a dangerous path toward body dysmorphic disorders. These types of psychological issues are marked by an incorrect self-perception. For example, a woman with BDD may see herself as much heavier than she really is. Others may have an unrealistic idea of how they “should” look, believing their bodies or faces fall outside the spectrum of normalcy.

So what does this have to do with plastic surgery? New data from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery says that 55% of surgeons have reported seeing patients who request surgery specifically to improve their appearance in selfies. This is a substantial increase since 2015, when only 42% of surgeons reported this phenomenon.

Selfies and Cosmetic Surgery: A Good Match?

If you’re eyeing plastic surgery here in Los Angeles because you’re bothered by the way you look in selfies, you’re definitely not alone. But is this the best reason to have surgery? Ultimately, only you can make that decision.

In some cases, selfies or other photos can make you more aware of an issue you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. They can also emphasize an area of your face or body that already bothers you. Whatever the motivation, it’s imperative that anyone thinking of undergoing plastic surgery have a positive outlook and realistic, measurable goals of what the surgery can accomplish.

Deciding If Plastic Surgery Is for You

As a board-certified plastic surgeon, part of my job is ensuring my patients are well-informed on the details of what their preferred procedures can do for them. But as a patient, it’s your job to carefully consider the promises and limitations of your surgery and decide if it’s a good fit for you.

Plastic surgery will not alter your personality nor solve any problems in your personal life. It will not earn you more likes or followers on social media, either. It’s something that you should do for yourself—to discover your own personal best and feel amazing every time you look in the mirror.

Additionally, as a plastic surgeon, my job isn’t to blindly say yes to every request a patient has. Instead, it’s important to evaluate each person holistically by considering how the surgery will affect the individual’s life, if the person is well-suited to the demands of the recuperation process, and if the benefits outweigh the risks. The best plastic surgeons in Los Angeles won’t tell you what you want to hear. Instead, they’ll tell you what you need to hear  to ensure your safety, comfort, and satisfaction throughout every step of the process.

It’s normal to be uncertain of your specific goals for plastic surgery. A consultation can help. Contact my office to get started!

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