Do you simply believe something and then only search for confirmation of that belief? For instance, if you think all breast augmentations lead to funny looking breasts, then you will search for this first and find that the Internet is full of information that will lead you to believe that all breast augmentations lead to funny looking breasts. This is actually quite common. However, this method of searching is likely to lead you to information that is biased, inaccurate or flat out wrong.
Objectivity means that you consider the arguments both for and against your belief, that you weigh both arguments, and that you draw a conclusion based on all of the information. I suggest using objectivity when doing your plastic surgery homework, or evaluating any other information for that matter!
It is also very important to examine the source of your information. Is it from somebody that has no relevant training or expertise, or is it a reliable source? Would you believe medical related information from the Mayo Clinic, or from your local hairdresser?
The well informed patient should start plastic surgery research by visiting www.plasticsurgery.org. This is the website of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The information presented on this Society’s website is not designed to promote surgery; it’s simply there to educate you about the nature of the cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, as well as the risks and the benefits.
Remember, the Internet is a wonderful source of information, but also a source of misinformation and sometimes downright lies. If you are researching a plastic surgery procedure, keep an open mind and seek input from reliable, reputable websites. When you are done researching the plastic surgery procedure, remember to concentrate your research on your physician, because he or she is the one who will ultimately determine your destiny.
Robert Caridi, MD