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RealSelf, RealSelf 100, Q&A, reputation management

RealSelf 100 List Honors Top Social Influencers in Cosmetic Medicine

You don’t need to be a student of consumer psychology to know that cosmetic surgery is not what you’d call an impulse purchase. In fact, 50% of consumers seeking a cosmetic procedure research their options online for over a year, with one in five researching for over three years. That’s a whole lot of time […]

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Sabrina Fabi, RealSelf TV, video, marketing

RealSelf TV Takes Video Marketing to the Next Level

Video may have killed the radio star but smart marketers know it’s a great way to breathe new life into their efforts to reach consumers. Now, with the launch of RealSelf TV, cosmetic surgeons and other aesthetic professionals have the opportunity to take their own marketing efforts to the next level. Simply put, video not […]

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Internet, misinformation, double-edged sword

Doctors and the Double-edged Sword of Online Information

Ahhh, the Internet. Has there ever been a system so effective in spreading so much misinformation to so many people so quickly? It’s one thing when it’s a claim that you can “Make $1,000 a week in your spare time!” or that this or that celebrity (Betty White, Jon Bon Jovi, take your pick) is […]

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realself, cosmetic surgery, search, San Antonio

Realself Research Reveals Top 10 Cities for Cosmetic Surgery Searches

When you think of major markets for cosmetic surgery, a few cities almost automatically come to mind: Los Angeles, Miami, maybe Dallas or Atlanta. Chances are you didn’t say San Antonio, Texas. Yet according to search data recently compiled by, the Alamo City boasts the highest interest in aesthetic procedures of any major metropolitan […]

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breast fat transfer, buzz index

Buzz Index: Breast Fat Transfer Has Folks Talking

There are good fats and bad fats but for many aesthetic consumers, the best fat is the kind you can remove from one problem area and inject into others that could use a little boost. And if recent discussions on RealSelf are any indication, that means breast fat transfers, which has garnered a Buzz Index score […]

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empathy, ROI, patients

Want a Better Return on Investment? Think Return on Empathy

According to conventional wisdom, the key to marketing success is to maximize ROI or Return on Investment but Martin Ingwer, founder of the Insight Consulting Group, would beg to differ. Instead, he suggests, the key is to focus less on the data-driven correlation between marketing costs and subsequent sales and more on the emotional relationship […]

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Building a Global Practice, no Plane Tickets (or Yellow Pages Ads) Required

This morning, I read an article in an Australian newspaper, watched a sunrise in Hawaii and met with business acquaintances in Seattle, Los Angeles and New York — all without stepping away from my desk. If that doesn’t speak to the far-reaching, distance-obliterating power of the Internet, I don’t know what does. And that’s as […]

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online reviews, patient stories, realself

Why You Shouldn’t Worry about Doctor Reviews

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that we at RealSelf are firm believers in the importance of online reviews, a fact that may make the following statement more than a little surprising: Doctor reviews aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Don’t get us wrong; glowing, 5-star reviews […]

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tummy tuck, weight loss, RealSelf

When Is a Tummy Tuck More Than Just a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck after weight loss: Elective cosmetic surgery or medically necessary procedure? The question is not academic and, if a recent article in The Wall Street Journal is any indication, the answer can have far-reaching consequences for doctors, patients and the health insurance companies that may or may not cover the procedure. Titled “Not Just […]

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patients, personas, customer service

Look Who’s Talking: Patient Personas Can Provide Invaluable Insights

Consumers are like snowflakes: no two are alike but there are definitely recurring patterns among them. Ascertain the type of person you’re dealing with and you stand a much better chance of transforming them from a curious prospect into a happy client. One way to do that, says Rachel Honig of Shankman|Honig, is to create […]

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rhinoplasty, nose job, online review

New Nose, New View on Life?

Beauty, it’s often said, is in the eye of the beholder but sometimes it can also be in the nose. At least that’s one way of interpreting the results of a study recently published on the JAMA Dermatology website. The study, an analysis of 16 previous studies, found that rhinoplasties, among other facial procedures, led […]

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skin rejuvenation, buzz index, RealSelf

Buzz Index: Summer’s Done But Skin Is Still Top of Mind

The beaches have emptied out, the swimsuits and pool towels have been put away, and people are facing up to the fact that the summer sun has taken a toll on their skin. The damage is not only on daily display in their bathroom mirrors, it’s a topic of discussion everywhere from the pages of […]

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botox, migraine, worth it rating, online review

Buzz Index: Botox for Migraines Earns Mixed Reviews

Botox for migraines: Some patients swear by it; some would like to swear at whoever convinced them to try it. Either way, they’re definitely talking about it. The procedure, which earns a 46% Worth It Rating from the RealSelf community, topped all other procedures in the site’s weekly Buzz Index, with a score of 192. […]

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RealSelf, sclerotherapy,

Buzz Index: When Aesthetic Consumers Talk, Smart Doctors Listen

If you follow the conversations on RealSelf, it’s obvious that aesthetic consumers are all abuzz about sclerotherapy, TCA peels and PicoSure treatments. Except, that is when they’re abuzz about cellulite treatments, Thermage and silicone injections. Or lap bands, lip augmentations and panniculectomies. So what do three sets of distinctly different procedures have in common? Over […]

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Richard Tholen, RealSelf 100, Q&A

Debunking ‘Junk Science’: RealSelf 100 Doctor Richard H. Tholen on Answering Questions Online

With millions of consumers turning to social media with questions about cosmetic surgery, doctors who take the time to provide answers perform an invaluable service. They not only help those consumers make safe, educated decisions; they also help the profession by debunking the “junk science” those consumers often encounter elsewhere. At RealSelf, for example, the […]

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ASPS, infographic, arm lift, brachioplasty

Infographic Friday: A Farewell to (Saggy) Arms

If you’ve ever found yourself looking at an image of Michelle Obama — or Jennifer Aniston or Jessica Biel — and found yourself thinking, ‘Wow, impressive arms,’ you’re definitely not alone. With summer and its sleeveless style fast approaching, women all across the country are seeing similar images and giving serious thought to giving their […]

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social listening, Q&A

Infographic Friday: Listen Up, Doc, but Don’t Be Intrusive

There’s a reason they call it the “art” of listening. Trying to ascertain what consumers want is definitely more of an art than a science and nowhere is that more true than in social media. As this infographic from suggests, such “social listening” is especially tricky, in large part, because consumers aren’t sure how […]

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online reviews, doctor ratings

More than Scores: Reviews Trump Ratings for Patients and Doctors

If you’re looking to score well with aesthetic consumers, the folks at PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) have a little advice: Stop! As the Institute notes in a new report, “Scoring Healthcare: Navigating customer experience ratings,” doctors who focus on stars, letter grades and other one-dimensional ratings miss an excellent opportunity to connect with patients, […]

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facebook update content realself

For Doctors, Providing Relevant Content is the Key to Social Success

If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by Facebook, you’re not alone. Between disappearing posts, questionable conversion rates and a steady stream of platform changes, it’s not surprising that many doctors find the site a mixed blessing at best. Case in point: The site’s latest update which entails giving users far more flexibility in determining what […]

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Photo Courtesy of Sam Naficy, MD

Seven Million Reasons to Post Before and After Photos

One stat I shared with plastic surgeons at the ASAPS 2013 meeting in New York City got more attention than all others (and I gave out a bunch of new one’s). Consumers searching for a doctor on RealSelf rely more on photos than patient reviews. Nearly 7 in 10 of our audience members surveyed indicated […]

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