PLASTIC surgeons used to dispense advice primarily in private, face-to-face consultations, during which they would address a patient’s concerns and weigh the merits of surgery.
These days, plastic surgeons offer their opinions on the Web, sometimes for all to see. One platform is RealSelf.com, where plastic surgeons answer queries and introduce themselves to patients.
PostYourFace.com, which made its debut in December, allows the brave to ask Dr. Robert Freund, a plastic surgeon with an office in Manhattan, to evaluate photographs they post publicly. Viewers vote on whether Jane Doe needs a “smaller nose” or “more voluptuous lips.”
If this kind of crowd-sourcing lacks appeal, Dr. Michael A. Salzhauer hopes iSurgeon, his iPhone application, will draw you in. Users can tweak a picture of themselves while listening to a chain saw roar. In a phone interview, Dr. Salzhauer said, iSurgeon “is a great party game,” allowing strangers to snap pictures of each other and then augment a small chest or shrink a big nose.
He added that iSurgeon was also “a useful tool for people seriously thinking about plastic surgery” or “patients who want privacy.” I toyed around, making modest changes to my nose and stomach, and found the results worthy of a fun-house mirror.
CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS