The Influence of Photo Editing Applications on Patients Seeking Facial Plastic Surgery Services.

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BACKGROUND: The usage of the smartphone and social media have introduced paradigm shifts to cosmetic surgery. Much has been studied regarding social media and its influences in plastic surgery, however, little is known about facial editing applications and how these relate to plastic surgery practices.

OBJECTIVES: Do face-editing applications influence patients' pursuit of plastic surgery, and who and why do they use these applications?

METHODS: An anonymous survey was administered between September and December 2019, including questions about demographics, familiarity and utilization of face-editing applications, motivations in usage and influences towards pursuing cosmetic procedures, and attitudes towards applications.

RESULTS: Seventy patients completed the survey and 32.9% admitted to using face-editing applications. Patients using applications were significantly younger (36.9 years) than those who did not (54 years) (p < .001). Amongst those familiar with applications, women were significantly more likely than men to utilize them (100% vs. 78.6%, respectively) (p = 0.047). Social media was the most common influence for using apps (87%). The majority confirmed that these applications played a role in pursuing cosmetic procedures (56.5%). Most patients did not regret their usage of these applications (87%).

CONCLUSIONS: Face editing applications serve a role regarding patient decision making to pursue cosmetic surgery. Several motivators exist for application usage, the largest of which is social media. Younger females are the most likely demographic to utilize applications and generally do not express regret in doing so. Plastic surgeons would benefit in understanding patient motivations and expectations created by using these applications.


This article was published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

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Copyright © 2020 The Aesthetic Society.

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Aesthetic Surgery Journal

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