It seems like we review everything these days. Yelp and Google Reviews are both ubiquitous. But can you trust plastic surgery reviews? It depends where you’re looking and what the reviews say–or, rather, who those reviews come from. But there’s no getting around the fact that plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery reviews are different from, say, restaurant or movie reviews.
Knowing if You Can Trust Plastic Surgery Reviews
That’s because restaurants tend to be pretty low stakes. Same with movies. If you go to a movie, and you don’t have a good time, it’s not highly likely to change your life (this is not to discount how seriously some people take their culture–I’m totally on board with that).
The other issue, which we’ll explore in a little more depth below, is that not everyone wants to be particularly open about their plastic or cosmetic surgery choices. If you go see a movie or go to a restaurant, there are comparatively few social consequences. But that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to plastic surgery, and there tends to be a bit more stigma. It becomes easy, then, to see why you might wonder: can you trust plastic surgery reviews?
Where Can You Find Plastic Surgery Reviews?
It’s funny. Plastic surgery reviews are certainly not uncommon. And there are plenty of places to leave those reviews, each with varying degrees of reliability. Let’s run down the short list!
- Yelp: There are many cosmetic and plastic surgeons who are on Yelp. Whether that Yelp page is well-curated depends, generally, on the surgeon in general. Surgeons with many Yelp reviews aren’t necessarily the most popular surgeons–and vice versa. So you’ll definitely want to do some extra digging.
- Google Reviews: Another way that you might be able to find reviews about your plastic or cosmetic surgeon is through Google Reviews. Google will basically let users review any business. These reviews won’t always show up in search results, but they often do appear in map results. That distinction is important because it says something about Google thinks people use reviews. Plastic and cosmetic surgeons are often reviewed on Google.
- Plastic Surgery Websites: There are some plastic and cosmetic surgery websites that have an extensive collection of reviews. One prime example is Realself.com. This plastic and cosmetic surgery social media website is loaded with reviews–and you can search by surgeon as well. This makes for a pretty convenient venue to look at plastic surgery reviews.
Isn’t that stacking the deck, though? The people on RealSelf.com are, undoubtedly, plastic and cosmetic surgery fans. Well, here’s the thing: so are most people who end up getting plastic surgery. In some ways, then, websites such as Realself.com represent a truer cross-section of likely plastic surgery patients.
What Do People Say in Plastic Surgery Reviews?
Here’s when we start to get to why plastic surgery reviews might not always be the most reliable on the planet. First and foremost, they tend to be rather polarized. Plastic and cosmetic surgery reviews tend to outline one of two experiences:
- Either they loved the results in a way that changed their lives
- Or they hated their results in a way that changed their lives
Clearly, these reviews are exceptionally polarized, and they don’t do a very good job of capturing the vast majority of experiences. I have a couple of theories as to why this is. The first has to do with motivation. In general, plastic and cosmetic surgery patients are busy recovering and, then, after that, busy enjoying their results. Unless those results swing way to the good or bad side of things, there just isn’t a whole lot of motivation to go and write reviews.
The second reason I think plastic surgery reviews tend to be weighted to one side or the other is because not everyone wants to advertise his or her surgical procedures. There are definitely a lot of patients who want to preserve their privacy. And, for various reasons, there aren’t a lot of good ways to leave anonymous reviews around the web.
Those patients who want to preserve their anonymity, then, will simply not leave reviews. This means that only the most motivated and the most open about their procedures will leave reviews. You can start to see why so many of those reviews, then, are slanted one way or the other.
There’s Still Value in Reviews
There is still a substantial amount of value in cosmetic and plastic surgery reviews. Many medical spas and plastic surgery clinics even compile their own reviews. That’s not terribly uncommon. But it can be frustrating for patients who are just trying to make a decision about where to go–and can’t find reliable reviews.
The best advice is simply to look at all of the possible reviews. Don’t take reviews from any one source too seriously–especially if there are only one or two reviews there. By the same token, you should probably trust your gut. Can you trust plastic surgery reviews? Sure, but not if they’re all from the same place. Check reviews from multiple venues for the best results.