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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2015 Feb;68(2):197-204. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2014.10.008. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Public perception of Plastic Surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University College Hospital Galway, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland. Electronic address: catherinedeblacam@rcsi.ie.
2
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University College Hospital Galway, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Public perception of Plastic Surgery is strongly influenced by the media and may not reflect the broad scope of work within the speciality. The aim of this study was to provide an assessment of the general public's perception of plastic surgical practice and to report the perceived importance of Plastic Surgery relative to other specialities working within a large tertiary referral centre.

METHODS:

899 members of the public who attended our Emergency Department completed a questionnaire where they matched eight surgical specialities with 30 operative procedures and ranked the importance of 30 different hospital specialities using a Likert scale.

RESULTS:

The majority of respondents correctly identified plastic surgeons as performing each of the cosmetic procedures listed (abdominoplasty 63.7%; breast augmentation 59.1%; facelift 61.35%; liposuction 59.7%). Plastic Surgery was identified as the primary speciality involved in breast reconstruction (49.3%) and burns surgery (43.0%). There was poor understanding of the role of plastic surgeons in hand surgery, with only 4.7% of respondents attributing tendon repair to plastic surgeons. Plastic Surgery ranked lowest of 30 specialities in terms of importance in providing care for patients within the hospital.

CONCLUSION:

Plastic Surgery is often misunderstood within the wider community and misconceptions reflect the influence of the media in highlighting certain aspects of the speciality. It behoves our professional organisations to highlight the importance of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery within major tertiary referral centres.

KEYWORDS:

Cosmetic surgery; General public; Perception; Plastic surgery

PMID:
25455297
DOI:
10.1016/j.bjps.2014.10.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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