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Selfies push more toward plastic surgery

  • Friday, April 4, 2014

When Dennis Schimpf was growing up the amount of photographs he appeared in were “few and far between.”

“Now kids at 9 or 10 years old are having daily pictures,” he said.

Schimpf is a plastic surgeon at Sweetgrass Plastic Surgery in Summerville, working in cosmetic surgery.

A recent study released by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) shows that there has been an increase in cosmetic procedures – and the survey finds that the selfie trend is the cause for this increase. The selfie trend refers to the action of someone taking a photo of his or herself and posting online on popular social media websites and smartphone applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.

AAFPRS’s poll studied a select group of the organization’s 2,700 members to uncover the latest trends in facial plastic surgery. The study revealed that “one in three facial plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for procedures due to patients being more self aware of looks in social media.”

The survey results went on to indicate that 13 percent of AAFPRS members surveyed identified increased photo sharing and patients’ dissatisfaction with their own image on social media sites as a rising trend in practice.

Schimpf has been in the plastic surgery business for the past seven years and during his time at work feels he has seen an increase in people taking more awareness in how they look, and feels this generation’s desire to constantly upload selfie photos is a big factor.

“I think there’s always a concern that people could over-do it with plastic surgery,” he said.

Schimpf said patients often come in with pictures of celebrities, models, etc. that they want to look like. While these photos help surgeons with getting an idea of how the patient wants to appear, Schimpf said the reality is the celebrity appearance is not realistic; many of those people are enhanced in some way in the photos and therefore do not appear as “every day people.”

“If we don’t understand what the patient is asking for then that could be dangerous or it could lead to unhappy patients,” Schimpf sead.

The survey results indicate women are still the most prevalent users of plastic surgery. Schimpf said he sees many women, often after having kids, not wanting to necessarily look like a model, but get back the bodies they had in their 20s.

“Those patients are the best because they are generally very happy and excited because their expectations are reasonable,” Schimpf said.

Schimpf said he has seen more and more people, particularly in their 20s, go after quicker procedures such as botox and injections – men in particular have been known to get botox.

Statistically speaking Schimpf said liposuction is still the most commonly performed procedure because it is wanted by both men and women. Breast augmentation is still a popular surgery as well.

Schimpf encourages prospective patients to do some serious thinking before they go under the knife.

“They have to understand why they are doing it,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than undergoing surgery and not getting what you thought you were going to get.”

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