Plastic surgeons are streaming graphic live videos online and posting intimate images of patients on social media in a controversial bid to boost their patient numbers.
The trend has been slammed by the Australian Medical Association, which says there are serious ethical issues despite patients agreeing to let the doctors post graphic images on social media of their body being sliced open.
Bella Vista plastic surgeon Eddy Dona has been sharing his surgical operations on Snapchat since September, and the bloody videos have raked in thousands of views.
“Snapchat takes everything to a whole new level as far as educating the patient,” Dr Dona said.
“Of course it’s a marketing thing and part of branding and it’s good for business. But if you do it badly it’s bad for business, you’re completely exposed.”
Snapchat is free of the more restrictive nudity policies that govern Facebook and Instagram.
Dr Dona said he was inspired to take to Snapchat by cosmetic surgeons in the United States.
He has streamed breast augmentations and even footage of a vaginal surgery called labiaplasty.
“I keep it educational and explain everything,” he said.
“It’s so the patients know what they’re getting into, there’s no closed doors or secrets … some of it is quite graphic but that’s real surgery.”
AMA NSW president Brad Frankum said he disagreed with the idea of surgeons using social media to show off their handiwork.
“I think if surgeons are doing it to try and attract business, then it’s not something as a profession we have encouraged. And if they’re doing it to enhance their reputation or show their work, then I have concerns about the ethics of that,” Dr Frankum said.
Chevon Hart, 25, agreed for her breast augmentation to be streamed by Dr Dona so she could watch the procedure after it was completed.
Prior to getting the surgery she watched other people on Snapchat go under the knife.
“You see the results and it is enlightening,” she said.
“I was excited that he uses Snapchat … it’s more convenient.”