Analysis of Popular Social Media Addressing Breast Augmentation, Implants, and Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

Yeela Ben-Naftali, Ron Eremenko, Yoav Yechezkel Pikkel, Ori Samuel Duek, Eran D. Bar Meir

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Social media is part of modern life, for better or worse. Patients seek counsel on treatments, their side-effects, and the surgeon performing the surgery. Previous study has found several "dos" and "don'ts" regarding social media. The aim of this study was to specifically look for social media posts addressing breast augmentation, breast implants, and breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). The aims of this study were to examine social media posting regarding BIA-ALCL and to analyze the ways general public receive information regarding this disease. Methods: A prospective analysis of 3 popular, global social media networks was performed, using the key phrase in English "anaplastic large cell lymphoma" or "ALCL" or "#ALCL." Three hundred posts related to breast cancer published on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook in June 2018 were assessed by the following parameters: author identity, subject, "social media currency" (likes, shares, comments), presence of special effects (videos, photographs, research, etc.). Results: Most posts were posted by professional entity (ie, plastic surgeon, company, or general practitioner), with YouTube being the social media least used by patients (P < 0.001). Facebook was the only social network that had more posts authored by non-professional authors (P < 0.001). Social currency did not change between the professional and non-professional authors. The highest return for investment was seen on Instagram (P < 0.001, "likes" only). YouTube, having the most posts published by professionals, was more positive toward breast augmentation and the use of implants (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Social media is here to stay and not a trend. It is a tool for the patient when searching for treatment and surgeon. It would be wise to invest and understand these communication platforms, since this is where our patients are, and the way they are researching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3571
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number5
StatePublished - 10 May 2021

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