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Social Media and Breast Augmentation

Aesthetic AuthorityBalancing Act: Aesthetic Authority Vol.1: No.3
Volume 1
Issue 3
Pages: 20

Study authors report on if and how social media influences the ways in which patients educate themselves and ultimately decide to have breast augmentation surgery.

Breast augmentation surgery is one of the top five surgical procedures reported annually by The Aesthetic Society (formerly the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). Although Society data for 2019 report that breast augmentation currently holds the number one spot, the surgical procedure is down 14.9% compared with 2018.

The society attributes this decrease to issues related to breast implant devices.

“The decrease in breast augmentation surgery last year does not come as a surprise to our membership as breast implant devices remain fiercely discussed,” explains Herluf G. Lund, MD and President of The Aesthetic Society.

As a result, the Society is actively pursuing educational opportunities with the goal of empowering patients who may be researching breast augmentation procedures, including Aesthetic One – The Patient App and Patient Decision Aid.

It is timely, then, to note the influence social media has on a patient’s pursuit of educational information and the decision to have a breast augmentation procedure. Zahedi et al., recently published a small study that examines this relationship. The article, “Social Media’s Influence on Breast Augmentation,” appears in the August issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the official journal of The Aesthetic Society.

In the study, researchers evaluated women from a single center who underwent a breast augmentation procedure between 2017 and 2018. A total of 180 patients met the study’s inclusion criteria and all were contacted using a validated, prompted telephone survey. Verbal consent was obtained from 69% of patients contacted, who provided demographic information and answered questions about their social media use.

Data collected revealed:

  • Patients primarily use Facebook, Instagram and doctors’ websites to research and educate themselves
  • 97% of patients use social media in general
  • 97% of millennials and 92% of Generation X use social media the most
  • 64% of patients used social media to research their breast augmentation procedure, primarily on Instagram; 54% say Instagram is most effective
  • 18% of patients reported using a doctor’s social media to research breast augmentation
  • 50% of patients used social media to compare patient results between doctors, 83% of whom used the doctor’s website to do so

Authors of the study, therefore, conclude that social media does influence the ways in which patients educate themselves and ultimately decide to have breast augmentation surgery, which presents opportunities for related patient education.

Related: How Facelift Patients Choose Surgeons


Zahedi S, Hancock E, Hameed S, Phillips LG, Moliver CL. Social Media's Influence on Breast Augmentation. Aesthet Surg J. 2020;40(8):917-925.

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