The internet has become a vital source of information when it comes to finding local businesses and services and online reviews, in particular, have become a crucial part of the decision process when deciding which company to choose. This is especially true when it comes to cosmetic surgeons. After all, you want to make sure you’re choosing a surgeon with proven results and what better way to do that than to check out online reviews from other patients?
However, a new study has shown that many of the online cosmetic surgeon reviews are highly polarised, as patients that tend to leave reviews are either very happy or extremely unhappy, leaving prospective patients finding it hard to know which testimonial to trust.
Study reveals truth behind cosmetic surgery reviews
The new study was carried out by Northwestern Medicine and it delved into the reviews of breast augmentation surgeons within the US. It looked at reviews on popular sites such as RealSelf, Google and Yelp. There were 1077 reviews analysed throughout the study, consisting of 935 positive reviews and 142 negative reviews.
What it found was there appeared to be contradictory reviews left for surgeons. They were rated with either 5 stars or 1 star, with very few 2,3 or 4-star reviews to balance it out. This makes it particularly difficult for other potential patients to determine whether or not the surgeon is worth going with.
As with all industries, dissatisfied customers “take up more screen ‘real estate’ than happy patients”, meaning there can be a dissatisfaction bias in online reviews. Some were also left by patients who only had a consultation and not the actual surgery. This throws doubt onto just how reliable these reviews can be.
How else can you tell whether you’re choosing a reliable surgeon?
So, if reviews can’t necessarily be trusted, how can you make sure you’re choosing a reliable cosmetic surgeon? First and foremost, you should make sure they are certified. Ask to see proof of experience and qualifications. A reliable surgeon will have no problem showing you proof of their skills.
Another issue raised by the study was that patients are sometimes mistaking exposure for experience. Just because a plastic surgeon doesn’t have a dominant web presence, does not mean they do not have the necessary skills, training and experience to produce the results you’re hoping for.
A consultation will also help you to determine whether they can be trusted. Ask as many questions as you can and ensure you feel comfortable with the surgeon before undergoing the surgery.
Overall, it’s so important to do your own research, rather than relying solely upon reviews. Unless the review is coming from a friend or family member, there’s no real way to determine just how authentic they are.