With the advent of internet technology, there has been an amazing increase in information available for potential consumers in plastic surgery. While much of this information is true, unfortunately a great deal of it is false. Misleading information can draw consumers into unqualified businesses as well as disparage reputable competitors. Consumers should be extremely wary of any comments on the internet, either positive or negative, regarding certain practitioners.
Many of the sites that cater to this type of activity post information that is unreliable and undocumented. For example: A recent marketer for the Lifestyle Lift in the northeast was found to have office employees entering positive comments about the Lifestyle Lift on these review websites. The company was fined heavily by the State of New York once this was discovered. In addition, some inexperienced or unqualified practitioners will put information on their website which makes them look like experts for certain procedures when in fact they are not.
Often technology can be used to discover these illicit postings however, some of these people are clever in avoiding detection by using multiple names and URL addresses. In addition, disgruntled patients have been known to post not only negative reviews regarding their situation, but then to masquerade as other disgruntled patients and to disparage the doctor. In such cases, it can appear the doctor had multiple unhappy patients.
Whatever the case, information on the internet should be reviewed and evaluated prior to placing any stock in it. Most consumer web sites that post positive or negative reviews about physicians do not do any research to determine if any of the information that they receive is in fact true. Therefore, it is imperative when seeking information about a provider that information be factual and can be trusted.
The best place for a potential consumer to receive information about surgeons is not through the internet, but through the certifying boards of the physicians themselves as well as the State and National medical societies, where legitimate information is logged.
Usually a reputable surgeon will give you the opportunity to speak with prior patients whose experience can be documented and will be reliable. Patients should not fall victim to untruthful marketing, false claims of superiority or disparaging remarks on so-called consumer review sites. Check things out for yourself from verifiable sources.