‭New study suggests a post- ‭surgical ‘selfie’ protocol can ‭improve patient experience

23 Aug 2017

‭A new study by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal has found that using a ‭smartphone for post-operative follow-ups and taking ‘selfies’, improved ‭patients’ experience and helped to detect early complications.

‭Researchers studied the use of a smartphone-based post-operative follow-up protocol, where 57 plastic surgery patients sent their surgeons images from their smartphone of the treated area within 48-72 hours ‭following surgery.

‭The surgeons text messaged their patients at discharge, instructing ‭them on how and when to send them the post-operative images. 

On ‭the same day the pictures were sent, surgeons responded to review the progress. Patients then recorded their thoughts on the experience in a questionnaire. The report states that out of 52 patients surveyed, 50 (96.2%) indicated that they felt that the protocol improved their post-operative care experience. Additionally, the process alerted surgeons to three cases with early complications.

‭The study’s senior author and chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Plastic Surgery, Dr James Zins, said, “The point of the selfie ‭programme is to make contact with the patient earlier than the usual follow-up visit that is within two to three days.” He added, “This is done for ‭two reasons. One, to reassure the patient and allay any fears regarding early post-operative problems. And two, to possibly recognise problems ‭early before they become more significant.”

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