In days gone by, and not really that long ago, the vast majority of patients for plastic surgery were local. Prospective patients heard about and came to see a plastic surgeon in their community by reputation which was established principally by word of mouth. Most of plastic surgery was done in more metropolitan areas as that was where plastic surgeons were located and these more urban populations were more attuned to what plastic surgery had to offer. While much of this is still true today, a paradigm shift in this historic doctor-patient connection has occurred. By virtue of the internet and smartphones, two fundamental changes has happened. First, people located almost anywhere in the world can now easily read about what can be done for almost any physical flaw and malady. Second, they can also use the internet to find out who is an ‘expert’ in the type of plastic surgery they desire and quickly seek out this expertise from afar by a few e-mails, a Skype or even a Facetime conversation. For those patients who are willing to travel, they can get their procedure(s) done and return home no matter where they live. Follow-ups can be just as easily done by e-mail, photographs and even texting…24/7. The visual nature of plastic surgery lends itself to the virtual world more than most other medical specialties.
‘While Patients May Seek And Come For Plastic Surgery From Far Away, They Are Really A Click Of A Button Close’
Dr. Barry Eppley