If you’re interested in looking your best (who isn’t?), and you feel okay about seeking some expert help from time to time (who doesn’t?), naturally you turn to the World Wide Web. After all, where else can you get hundreds—no, thousands—of free informational pieces on your topic of interest? Where else will you find Web pages written just for people like you?
Well, yes, and no.
Researching a plastic surgery procedure or cosmetic treatment is a must before putting your health and wallet on the line. But before you get started on the Internet, remind yourself that most of the information you’ll find about cosmetic surgery and aesthetic procedures is written for marketing purposes, not for altruistic reasons.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the information you find on one of these sites is of no value. Professional societies and directory companies compile information and make money from ads or memberships/listing fees or both; many also offer valuable background information. And many plastic surgeons and doctors of aesthetic medicine develop beautiful, informative websites to, yes, market their services. But they are also interested in educating prospective clients. A good doctor knows that an informed patient is more likely to make the right choices and end up happier with the results than one who doesn’t know much about the procedure and physician he or she is considering.
When you find a good cosmetic surgery or cosmetic treatment site you’ll know it. It will have a reasonably objective feel, covering both risks and benefits. It should offer, at a minimum, well-written overviews of most procedures, links to other resources, complete background information on doctors and aestheticians involved and some before and after photos.
Unfortunately, however, some of what you’ll find on the Web is just bad. I mean bad as in horrible, wrong, and even insulting. What’s worse is that many sites these days are not even written for legitimate marketing purposes. Some exist simply as vehicles for online ads—these are some of the most poorly written sites you’ll ever see.