Recommendations are more important than internet search results when it comes to choosing a specific cosmetic surgeon. The DGÄPC found this out in an anonymous survey among 3400 customers of its members. Still, online search engines like Google are everyday aids in finding a good plastic surgeon. 35.8 percent of respondents said that Google was a special help in finding the attending physician. Almost every fourth patient (23.5%) also follows doctor rating portals. Most important for the selection of a doctor for aesthetic treatment, however, are recommendations from friends or acquaintances (52.5%).
The decision for a surgical procedure and also for a specific doctor depends on very different factors, according to the survey. "Success in treatment and high patient satisfaction are more important than findability on Google," said DGÄPC President Dr. Ing. Torsten Kantelhardt. Dr. Olaf Kauder Conference President 2017 of the professional society adds: "A good reputation, a trusting impression and a certain expert status are important selection criteria." However, he warns: "However, patients do not pay enough attention to the actual qualification of the attending physician when choosing a doctor."
As the only objective quality criterion for finding a good cosmetic surgeon, Kauder considers the title "Specialist in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery". This title may only be worn by doctors who, after completing their medical studies, have completed at least six years of specialist further education in this field. Just under a third of the respondents (32.8%) are in favor of this title. "Many patients are not clear that every doctor may call a cosmetic surgeon, no matter what he has actually learned," warns Kauder. The professional society DGÄPC therefore sees further need for clarification regarding specialist quality standards.
The quality and patient safety have also put aesthetic-plastic surgeons at the center of their annual congress on the weekend in Berlin. It is about the prevention, detection and treatment of complications in the use of wrinkle filling materials and breast implants. "Every medical treatment carries risks," says Kauder. "By dealing with complications intensively and openly, we increase the safety of our patients." The association focuses on the treatments with hyaluronic acid wrinkle fillers as well as breast augmentation with implants.
Wrinkle treatments with Botox and wrinkle injections with fillers such as hyaluronic acid rank first among the popularity scales of aesthetic treatments of the DGÄPC. Overall, just under a third of respondents said they wanted one of these non-surgical beauty treatments. The most popular surgery is eyelid surgery, followed by liposuction and breast augmentation.