Study: Google Placement Favors Physicians’ Social Media Presence–Not Smarts and Skills

Patients find plastic surgeons based on their popularity online and often ignore their experience, expertise, and ability, suggests a study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, one of the two official publications of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS/The Aesthetic Society).

In the study, researchers conducted a search in the top 25 United States metropolitan areas to identify the top 20 websites of board-certified plastic surgeons. Social media presence was quantified by tracking the number of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for every surgeon, as well as medical school and year of graduation.

Through a multivariate logistic regression analysis, it became evident that the total number of social media followers is associated with Google first-page placement, while medical school ranking and years in practice, were not, explains a media release from ASAPS.

“Surprisingly, Google is delivering patients style (online social media presence), over substance (academic pedigree, years of experience, etc), which is a bit disconcerting,” states Dr Clark F. Schierle, MD, PhD, FACS, an author of the study.

“Google’s current algorithms are fueling the transition to this new business model, which means that patients believe a first-page ranking on Google is more important than a physician’s experience, expertise, and ability,” he notes.

The study shows what Schierle and his co-authors have suspected for some time, that the old paradigm of patients finding plastic surgeons through referrals, word-of-mouth, a surgeon’s reputation, and academic pedigree is over. Having a strong social media following is what now drives patients into plastic surgeons’ offices, the release continues.

Patients have increasingly been using online resources to make healthcare decisions and have a tendency to trust and value the ratings that providers receive online. As the understanding and use of social media has grown, it has become a natural marketing venue for providers of aesthetic surgery due to its low cost and ability to reach a wide audience.

The proliferation of preoperative and postoperative photos, intraoperative videos, and graphic explanations of the procedures offered appeals to many potential patients, as evidenced by many of the hugely popular social media accounts belonging to aesthetic surgery providers.

“This also raises questions regarding professional etiquette on these social media channels, especially in light of some aesthetic providers’ harmful behavior,” Schierle concludes in the release.

[Source(s): American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, PR Newswire]

1060-nm Diode Laser Safe and Effective for Hair Reduction, Per Study

A study which evaluated the efficacy and safety of a 1060 nm diode laser system for permanent hair reduction showed this method is safe and effective for hair removal and long-term hair reduction in all skin types including darkly pigmented individuals.

The study, conducted by Edward V. Ross, MD, Omar A. Ibrahimi MD, PhD, and Suzanne Kilmer MD, is titled “Long‐term clinical evaluation of hair clearance in darkly pigmented individuals using a novel diode1060 nm wavelength with multiple treatment handpieces: A prospective analysis with modeling and histological findings” and was published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc (ASLMS).

In the study, 16 subjects were treated with the chilled sapphire tip, with a mean of 68%, 82%, and 76% skin type‐independent hair reduction in axillae, shin, and arm, respectively, at 6 month follow up visit as compared to baseline. Treatment with the large spot size vacuum‐assisted handpiece (26 subjects), was most effective in axillae and calves, with a 77.9% and 78.5% hair count reduction, respectively, at the 6 month follow up visit. Treatments with both handpieces were not associated with intolerable pain levels and common post procedural responses included mild to moderate erythema and/or edema.

“Large-spot lasers with suction can provide comfortable hair removal in darker skinned patients,” Ross says, in a media release from ASLMS.

[Source: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc]

Facial Asymmetry Increases with Age, According to Study

Three-dimensional digital imaging techniques show a subtle but significant aging-related increase in facial asymmetry, especially in the lower two-thirds of the face, according to the new research by ASPS Member Surgeon Helena O.B. Taylor, MD, PhD, of Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues. “The observed correlation between increasing facial asymmetry and age can be useful as a guide in plastic surgery to produce age-matched features,” the researchers write.

Read the full press release at

CRISPR Gene Editing Will Find Applications in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

The CRISPR genome editing technique promises to be a “transformative leap” in genetic engineering and therapy, affecting almost every area of medicine. That includes plastic surgery, with potential advances ranging from prevention of craniofacial malformations, to therapeutic skin grafts, to new types of rejection-free transplants, according to a paper in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

“CRISPR’s potential impact on treating human disease includes several areas important to the plastic surgeon such as oncology, wound healing, immunology, and craniofacial malformations,” comments ASPS Member Surgeon Eric Chien-Wei Liao, MD, PhD, Director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Program, Laurie and Mason Tenaglia MGH Research Scholar, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Read the full press release at

Ideal Timing of Post-Mohs Reconstruction

For select patients undergoing Mohs procedures for skin tumors, delaying reconstruction enhanced viability of full-thickness skin grafts and composite grafts and decreased postoperative complication rates, a retrospective, single-institution study found.

Among 310 patients undergoing reconstruction of 320 Mohs defects, overall postoperative complications occurred at a rate of 33.4%, reported J. Jared Christophel, MD, MPH, of University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, and colleagues in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Coffee May Tame the Redness of Rosacea

Researchers studied the effect of coffee drinking on the risk for rosacea, a chronic skin disease that causes facial redness in about 5 percent of the population. The scientists used data on 82,737 women participating in a large health study between 1991 and 2005.

The analysis, in JAMA Dermatology, found that compared with women in the lowest one-fifth for caffeinated coffee consumption, those in the highest one-fifth were 24 percent less likely to have rosacea. Women who drank four or more cups a day had a 23 percent lower risk of the skin disorder than those who drank less than a cup a month.

Beyond Skin Deep—Understanding Disparities in Dermatology Services

The odds of a black or Hispanic patient visiting an outpatient dermatologist are about half that of a white patient with the same skin condition, according to a new study in JAMA Dermatology.

Patients most likely to receive outpatient dermatologic services in the study were white, educated women. The findings are among several that describe disparities in the use of outpatient dermatology services.

The new study includes nine years of data from 183,054 dermatology patients across the country. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center analyzed the data looking for demographic and socioeconomic patterns associated with use of dermatologic services.

Read the full article at

Even with More U.S. Dermatologists, Rural Patients May Lack Access

The number of dermatologists per capita in the U.S. has surged more than 20 percent since the mid-90s, but a new study suggests access to care may have improved more in cities than in rural areas.

Nationwide between 1995 and 2013, the number of dermatologists rose 21 percent, from 3.02 for every 100,000 people in the population to 3.65 for every 100,000 residents, researchers report in JAMA Dermatology. Over that time, however, the chasm between urban and rural America widened.

Could Botox Cousin Combat the Opioid Epidemic?

A modified type of botulinum toxin — botox — gave mice long-term pain relief and may someday be a safer alternative to opioids as a treatment for chronic pain, according to British researchers.

They “deconstructed” the botulinum molecule and reassembled it with an opioid called dermorphin. The resulting compound — called Derm-BOT — silenced pain signals from neurons in the spinal cords of mice.

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Choice of Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy Affects Satisfaction, Quality of Life

Perhaps the most significant reason for the increasing popularity of breast reconstruction is that it can lead to a better quality of life for the patient, which is essential for relieving her postmastectomy psychological distress.

Therefore, a group of 57 North American plastic surgeons sought to determine which has a greater influence on the survivor’s quality of life (QOL): that she has undergone breast reconstruction per se or the type of reconstruction procedure performed.