Group of Plastic Surgeon Urge Ethical Conduct in Posting Procedures

There is a rise of plastic surgery procedures being performed then posted on social media. It’s more accessible to everyone for those who are curious about the procedure itself or to learn more about how it is performed. It must be interesting for the public to see plastic surgeries or procedures be viewed easily over social media. The question is, should it be allowed to stream plastic surgeries live?

It also raises ethical issues among other physicians considering the nature of plastic surgery because of how it could be categorized as sensitive media in different social media platforms.

In an article published in the Northwestern Now, several plastic surgeons call for a plea regarding the change of code of conduct by several other physicians that publicize their procedures on social media. While livestreaming and uploading videos help raise awareness, it could be off putting for the public, and that it could raise more issues with HIPAA, if done wrongly.

It has also been put forward previously regarding using Snapchat as a way to broadcast plastic surgery could be unethical because it capitalizes commercially rather than educationally.

All the more reason to raise concern is the idea of livestreaming of plastic surgeries online, for the public to see. Livestreaming could potentially harm a plastic surgeon’s reputation when things go wrong, obviously. Other alternative livestreaming content that plastic surgeons or physicians can stream are:

  • Tour of the clinic
  • Meet the staff
  • Showcase a new device in your clinic
  • Perform a non-surgical procedure (also mentioning the benefits and side effects)

Educating the public without a practical approach? One of the best things of livestreaming on Facebook is you can save the video on your phone. You can repurpose the livestream to a video you can upload on your Youtube channel or on other video streaming platforms; in which you could ask someone to edit the livestream with photos or supplementary videos related to your livestream.

Educate better

Some plastic surgeons have shared the sentiment over livestreaming as a way of bragging instead of educating. The plea should be a wake up call for surgeons who use social media as a means to show off instead of educate. Especially when there has been a report about plastic surgeons using social media platforms

Online Consent

Of utmost importance is online consent, it is best to have an online consent form ready at hand when you are planning to perform the procedure on a patient.

After all, livestreaming is a relatively new concept, but companies who offer the service have learned from predecessors how to handle video streaming content. Facebook has since made sure that the public won’t see or witness after reports of disturbing livestreaming incidents that have streamed harrowing content.

In the end, for now, it is up to the plastic surgeon to post their so long as it is compliant with HIPAA, and it is safe to view by the public and that you are responsible for the content you publish online. In your opinion, should the HHS and other health government agencies tighten/restrict their policies when it comes to livestreaming?