Summary: One thing that unites plastic surgery patients is that, often, they come in with unrealistic expectations. So all across the country, from LA to the New Jersey area plastic surgeons are looking for ways to make sure that patients really have a good idea of what they’re getting into. It’s been a long search, but recently, the ASPS endorsed a new product that may help. Called NewLookNew, this service allows those interested in plastic surgery to, essentially, snap a selfie and send it in for editing. After a short wait, potential patients will receive their photo back, only it will be altered to show what their desired procedure can accomplish. If the research performed by NewLookNow is any indication, this could prove to be a popular tool for plastic surgeons.
Plastic Surgery Apps
There’s an app for that. Because of course there is. We live in a world where there’s an app for virtually everything. Plastic surgery is no different. In fact, there’s a ton of plastic surgery apps out there, each of them claiming to give you the opportunity to see what you’ll look like with a little nip and tuck. That’s not a bad idea, in principle, as it’s important that patients maintain a set of realistic expectations. In practice, we’re not really sure most of these apps live up to that mission, as it’s way too easy to essentially Photoshop yourself into a series of wildly inaccurate desired end results. Plastic surgery is not Photoshop in real life (IRL, as the kids say), and it probably should not be treated as such.
However, in recent days the America Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), one of the largest bodies of plastic surgeons in the world, has made a move it rarely does: it endorsed a product. In this case, the ASPS endorsed an app called NewLookNow, which is essentially a plastic surgery-preview app. One of the primary benefits offered by NewLookNow is the fact that it is hosted on a secure site, meaning that the app allows for a level of confidentiality unavailable previously. Plastic surgeons are also able to customize how NewLookNow operates on each of their individual sites, which gives those plastic surgeons control over how the app interacts with their practice.
NewLookNow Has Some Pretty Numbers
Of course, we probably shouldn’t refer to NewLookNow as simply an app. It’s something that can be added to a practice website, and during NewLooksNow’s pilot program, it reported 42% increase in patient acquisition, 85% decrease in no-show rates, and 60% increase in consult to treatment conversions. These numbers are incredibly compelling, and while they likely won’t translate exactly to every practice that adopts this service, they are certainly encouraging. (And if you’re NewLookNow, you definitely have to be excited about those numbers.) There’s little doubt, then, that NewLookNow could be a great tool for generating patients in the digital era.
It’s also worth noting that, usually, the ASPS is not very quick to endorse things. That is, the ASPS usually requires any new products seeking endorsement to go through a rigorous process (doctors are, after all, a rather scientific bunch), and a great deal of work goes into protecting the reputation of the ASPS. Still, every individual plastic surgeon will have to determine whether NewLookNow is a product that makes financial sense.
Two Basic Things
But even New Jersey area plastic surgeons are always really trying to do two basic things. First, generate interest and generate acquisitions. Unlike many types of surgical procedures, aesthetic plastic surgery is largely elective, so there’s a definite marketing component involved in meeting new patients. But plastic surgeons also always try to maintain transparency. Because the patient him or herself is not the one altering the photograph (the “selfie” is submitted to NewLookNow, along with a description of the procedures desired, before the altered selfie is sent back to the inquisitive user), there is less of a chance of changes and alterations being exaggerated to the point where they are no longer accurate.
A service such as NewLookNow exists because it’s important that patients have an accurate idea of what they will look like post-surgery. Indeed, expectations and reality failing to line up is one of the primary causes of dissatisfaction with any given procedure. Even with something as common as liposuction or a breast augmentation procedure, it can be difficult for surgeons to give patients an accurate example of what the end result will be. After all, every patient is different and every body will respond in subtly different ways to procedures. There’s no getting around the fact that there is a certain amount of art involved in executing so well that you get your desired results perfectly represented.
Realistic Expectations and Great Results
Patients also often come into a consultation with an exaggerated sense of what plastic surgery can accomplish. Often, in order to minimize scarring and optimize recovery, surgeons opt for subtle changes rather than drastic shifts-and sometimes patients aren’t so receptive to that. Indeed, many procedures produce more subtle results than patients are initially suspecting. This is why services such as NewLookNow are awfully valuable—they get patients into a more realistic mindset, so that they are better informed before deciding to have surgery or not. Many patients, of course, are thrilled with the results of the procedure they desire—and that continues to be true, and continues to be a testament to the power of plastic surgery.