Be careful about what you read on social media when picking a plastic surgeon

·2 min read

Q. I’m trying to make a decision whether I’m going to have facial surgery. I keep seeing pictures of post-op patients that are either in surgery, immediately after surgery or just a few days out. Should I pick a doctor based on these pictures?

A. Don’t! Anybody can make a immediate post-up picture look wonderful, especially if the patient has just had a facelift and is lying down.

After 33 years of practice, I have seen marketing on Instagram and other social media platforms that make a physician look fabulous when, in fact, they’re not.

Unfortunately, the years of earning a reputation based on results, bedside manner and general ability are gone. Filters, lighting and photo shopping have made picking a physician very difficult.

Here are some recommendations in picking a doctor:

Pick a surgeon who has a long history and excellent reputation for treating your face. There are many plastic surgeons who claim they specialize in surgery of the face, but when you look at their expertise they give a laundry list of what they do.

Facial surgery is not something you can do every once in a while and do it well.

When evaluating your surgeon, ask them about their training, their experience and to show you pictures of their patients. When evaluating these pictures, look at the lighting to make sure they are equal pictures and the results are at least over one year. While many results can be seen early on, it is the change that occurs over time that’s important.

Often, you read about how your doctor is rated by an organization. I frequently get a proposal to join an expert network that will market me as the best surgeon in the community, the state or country. These products, which will remain unnamed, are paid for by physicians to appear important.

Ask a prospective doctor how much did it cost them to be in the program. If they hedge, you know the answer!

There are many ethical physicians with great reputations who have earned, not bought, their reputations because of their results and their patient care.

Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email questions to him at

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