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Plastic Surgery Sees Booming Business in the US, Thanks to Selfie Craze

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Avid users of social media particularly of sites Facebook and Instagram likely notice many people posting and sharing their selfies and this trend appears to be responsible for the current boom in plastic surgery.

A new survey has found that the increasing number of plastic surgery procedures that are performed in the U.S. is significantly influenced by the selfie phenomenon, wherein people share photographs they have taken of themselves.

An annual survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), results [pdf] of which were released in February earlier this year, showed that the growing popularity of selfies is making a huge impact on the facial plastic surgery industry.

For the study involving 2,700 facial plastic surgeons, AAFPRS found that one in three claims to have seen a rise in request for plastic surgery procedures because of patients becoming more conscious of how they look on social media.

Of the plastic surgeons surveyed, 13 percent attribute the rising trend in procedures to increased photo sharing and the patients being dissatisfied with their image on social media sites. The study also noted that from 2012 to 2013, there was a 6 percent rise in eyelid surgery, 7 percent rise in hair transplants and a 10 percent increase in rhinoplasty.

"Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before," said AAFPRS President Edward Farrior. "Our patients want to put their best face forward."

Doctors also said that some patients use their selfies to pinpoint where they think they need an improvement but they have to decline some of such requests because of the distorted image associated with selfies that do not give an accurate representation of a person's face.

"We all will have something wrong with us on a selfie image," said Sam Rizk, a plastic surgeon based in Manhattan who specializes in rhinoplasty. "I refuse a significant proportion of patients with selfies because I believe it is not a real image of what they actually look like in person."

Rizk also pointed out that despite the increasing trend in aesthetic surgical procedures; plastic surgery is not for everyone. He also said that excessive selfies is an indication of self-obsession and insecurity that many young people have.

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