A new study has found that selfies can be used as an effective tool to enhance patients’ post-treatment experience, and alert the clinician to early post-treatment problems.
Published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and entitled, ‘Patient satisfaction with an early smartphone-based cosmetic surgery postoperative follow-up’, the study focused on patients of cosmetic surgery, but the results could be transferrable to cosmetic dentistry and non-surgical facial aesthetics.
The researchers studied the use of a smartphone-based postoperative follow-up protocol, where 57 cosmetic surgery patients sent their surgeons images from their smartphone of the treated area within 48-72 hours following surgery.
The surgeons sent text messages to their patients at discharge, instructing them on how and when to send them the postoperative images.
On the same day the pictures were sent, surgeons responded to review the progress.
Patients then recorded their thoughts on the experience in a questionnaire.
The report states that out of 52 patients surveyed, 50 (96.2%) indicated that they felt that the protocol improved their postoperative care experience.
Furthermore, the process alerted surgeons to three cases with early complications.
’The point of the selfie programme is to make contact with the patient earlier than the usual follow-up visit that is within two to three day’, explained Dr James Zins, the study’s senior author and chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Plastic Surgery.
‘This is done for two reasons: one, to reassure the patient and allay any fears regarding early post-operative problems, and two, to possibly recognise problems early before they become more significant.’
Dalla Pozza E, D’Souza GF, DeLeonibus A, Fabiani B, Gharb BB, Zins JE (2017) Patient satisfaction with an early smartphone-based cosmetic surgery postoperative follow-up. Aesthetic Surgery Journal doi: 10.1093/asj/sjx079