You're considering plastic surgery and doing your research, which includes checking YouTube for information. A YouTube search will quickly reveal lots of videos on all sorts of cosmetic procedures, with men or women in white physician jackets giving advice about what's right for you.
But a new study cautions: viewers beware. That doctor may not be a certified plastic surgeon, and he or she may not have your best interests in mind.
This article on LiveScience.com outlines a recent study by Rutgers University which examined the reliability of YouTube videos for information about medical procedures.
The study included 240 of the most popular cosmetic surgery videos on YouTube, with a combined reach of more than 160 million views. Researchers evaluated the accuracy of the information in the videos, as well as the credentials of the video presenter.
Researchers found many videos that appeared educational, but were actually veiled marketing schemes. Study authors concluded that YouTube content can be biased and unbalanced, and the practitioners may be unqualified.
Does this mean every video on YouTube is suspect? No - there are bound to be some quality programs in the mix. But when it comes to plastic surgery, your research must be solid.
If you're the visual type who really prefers a video, we have lots of 3D animation videos on our website that explain procedures in detail. We invite you to check them out on our Video page.
Before you commit to plastic surgery, take time to learn as much as you can about the procedure - the risks, benefits, recovery, expectations, etc. - from reputable sources. Your health may depend on it.