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TV Reality Shows Boost Interest in Plastic Surgery

Popular plastic surgery reality TV shows may influence viewers

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- People who regularly watch television reality shows featuring plastic surgery feel more knowledgeable about the subject and may be more likely to pursue a consultation for a cosmetic procedure, according to a study published in the July issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Richard J. Crockett, M.D., of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues surveyed 42 men and women in their mid-30s seeking first-time cosmetic surgery at Yale's Plastic Surgery Clinic in 2005. The patients' knowledge, perceptions and decision-making about plastic surgery was measured, as was how often they watched any of six currently popular reality TV shows.

Overall, researchers found 79 percent of patients reported that TV/media influenced their decision to seek consultation about cosmetic surgery and 31 percent of them said they were "very much" or "moderately" influenced by TV shows, mostly due to high-intensity viewing habits. High-intensity viewers also felt more knowledgeable about the benefits and risks of plastic surgery than low-intensity viewers.

"All patients, regardless of how much they watched plastic surgery reality television shows, felt more knowledgeable after consulting with a surgeon," the authors write. "However, both before and after the consultation, high-intensity viewers consistently felt they were more knowledgeable than low-intensity viewers felt they were, particularly about the risks of plastic surgery."

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