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How social media is putting patients in danger

Plastic surgery is a major industry here in California. People of all ages undergo surgery for cosmetic or reconstructive purposes, and there is no shortage of surgeons ready to perform just about any type of procedure.

However, if you are looking for one of these surgeons online through social media sites, you could be putting yourself at risk of serious injury. According to reports, huge numbers of people advertising plastic surgery services or results on sites like Instagram are not who you might expect. 

Who is posting?

The study notes that only a fraction of all posts on Instagram that are related to plastic surgery are posted by legitimate, board-certified plastic surgeons; a whopping 82 percent of posts on one day alone came from people like dentists or aestheticians.

Other issues presented by social media and plastic surgery include connecting potential patients in the U.S. to international doctors, and the promotion of unsafe procedures. Board-certified plastic surgeons typically recommend against travelling to another country for a procedure and undergoing experimental or untested procedures, as both can have devastating consequences on a patient's appearance and health.

How does this affect patients?

What this means for patients is that it can be easy to be misled if you are looking for a physician on social media. While there are plenty of legitimate, trained doctors who have a presence on sites like Instagram and use them to advertise their results, there are far more people who may be misrepresenting themselves.

Placing your health and safety in the hands of someone is no small decision, and patients are urged to conduct thoughtful research before visiting any doctor. However, considering how easy it is for people to distort, exaggerate or lie about themselves and their skills online, it is an unfortunate possibility that a person can fall victim to medical negligence and malpractice. 

Protecting yourself and your rights

If you or a loved one is in this painful situation, understand that you have rights worth protecting, and you should not have to pay the price for someone else's mistakes. You can work with an attorney to build a medical malpractice claim seeking compensation for the damages you have suffered. 

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