Taking Selfies Can Help Plastic Surgery Patients Heal, Study Finds
Snapping selfies may be a great way to kill free time on your lunch break (or literally wherever you are), but if you’ve recently undergone a plastic surgery treatment, puckering up for the camera à la the fish gape may very well speed up the post-operative recovery process, says new research.
According to a recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a peer-reviewed clinical publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), researchers found that 96.2 percent of patients who sent in selfies of themselves to their surgeons during the first few days following their procedures reported a higher quality post-op experience.
The (very small) study, which included 57 patients (with 52 who responded), found that almost every participant who sent in selfies had an overall better post-procedure experience with their provider, and, in three cases, the physicians were able to detect early complications, thanks to the images.
Plastic surgeon James E. Zins, who is one of the authors of the study and from the department of plastic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, tells Allure the inspiration behind the study was simple: It came from a practice he already has set in place with his patients. “I was already contacting my cosmetic surgery patients several days postoperatively by telephone to assure their post-operative course was going as planned, and on occasion, a patient would send me a photograph to detail a postoperative issue,” he says. “It then became clear to me that a protocol was in order.”
So Zins began requiring his patients to text him at the time they left the post-operative area, and requested that they send him a selfie 48 to 72 hours following their procedures. “This could accomplish several things: First, it could allay patient concerns regarding swelling, bruising, or any other usual postoperative conditions,” he says. “Second, it was quite possible that this would alert me to any early warning signs regarding post-operative complications.”