Portland doctor sounds alarms as social media prompts more interest in plastic surgery

The Facebook facelift? The term refers to a new, some would say disturbing, phenomenon of the digital age — plastic surgery prompted by social media.

Good Morning America did a segment on the trend. And Dr. James Chan, a board-certified Portland plastic surgeon, said he, too, has noticed an uptick in people seeking cosmetic surgery, prompted by social media.

“It’s like having a mirror on you all the time,” said Chan, who owns Reviance Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Center. “You’re seeing yourself more than you used to.”

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter — you can see and share pictures of yourself all day long. Apparently, some people will go to any lengths for the perfect profile picture.

Chan has seen a rise in consultations for chin implants, nose jobs and facelifts, in particular. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a 71 percent increase in chin jobs in 2011.

Chan said he’s also seen more patients who are going online and getting information, not all of it accurate, and who have unrealistic expectations. For example, they may think laser surgery can remove every single wrinkle, which may not be the case.

“Plastic surgery is very individual and different for every person,” he said. “It requires a face-to-face consultation with the doctor. We talk to them about what it is they’re looking for and take a history and find out the reasons they’re doing it and find out if they’re realistic in what they’re hoping to achieve.”

Not everyone is a candidate. When he’s asked some people why they’re interested, he’s been told, “‘I hope my husband or wife won’t divorce me.’ That’s not something plastic surgery is going to change.”

He recommends talking to a qualified, board-certified surgeon and not trusting everything you read on a website.

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Read more at Portland Business Journal.

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