Public Perceptions of Plastic Surgery: Analysis and Implications
J Craniofac Surg
Background: The general public may not fully appreciate the role that plastic surgeons play in patient care. The authors sought to identify public perceptions of plastic surgery in a major US urban setting. Methods: A short, anonymous, survey was distributed to the public in all of the major boroughs of New York City. Respondents were asked to choose the surgeon they believed were experts in 12 specific clinical issues representative of required competencies by both the Plastic Surgery Residency Review Committee and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Results: A total of 1000 surveys were collected. Respondent demographics were similar by sex (53% women) and age (6% agesyears, 31% ages 21-24 years, 46% ages 25-40 years, 10% ages 41-54 years, and 8% ages >= 55 years). The majority also completed high school (96%). The percent of respondents who chose plastic surgeons as experts in the following procedures included rhinoplasty (61%), mandible fracture (12%), blepharoplasty (71%), cleft lip and palate surgery (46%), thumb replantation (32%), hand/finger fracture (18%), rhytidectomy (85%), breast reconstruction (87%), breast augmentation (96%), open leg wound (15%), open wound on the face (40%), and Botox (47%). Plastic surgeons were the most commonly selected experts in only 8 of these 12 domains (67%). These included rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, rhytidectomy, Botox injections, breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, cleft lip and palate surgery, and treatment of open wound of the face. Conclusions: Unfortunately, many conditions at the core of plastic surgery remain outside the realm of plastic surgery in the opinion of the surveyed public.
School of Medicine