Social Media Partnership Breaks Cosmetic Surgery Barriers

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Partners with RealSelf.com to Deliver Trusted Cosmetic Surgery Information to Consumers Worldwide

New York, NY October 9, 2008 — The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS at http://www.surgery.org) today announced a partnership agreement with RealSelf.com (http://www.realself.com) to provide consumers access to more accurate, timely, and realistic information about cosmetic procedures. RealSelf.com is an unbiased consumer resource for cosmetic treatment information that uses social media to encourage conversation between consumers on beauty-related topics. ASAPS is the leading professional society of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic procedures.

The partnership agreement lays the foundation for ASAPS and its 2,400 board-certified plastic surgeons to provide answers to the thousands of community-generated, cosmetic procedure-related questions posted on RealSelf.com. ASAPS will also contribute authoritative content for RealSelf.com plastic surgery guides and both entities intend to pursue joint market research and consumer safety campaigns.

”The Aesthetic Society recognizes the powerful impact social media has in supporting the consumer’s opportunities to learn first hand about cosmetic experiences,” said ASAPS president Alan Gold, of Great Neck, NY. “RealSelf.com has proven itself to be different from other Web sites in that it represents a consumer community that discusses cosmetic surgery without a commercial bias. We’re excited to see our members get involved in a social media Web site that shares our commitment to accuracy, ethics, and patient education,” said Dr. Gold. “Our involvement will help consumers make well-informed decisions based on science and facts rather than marketing promises and medically inaccurate information.”

Online consumers often cannot find information that goes beyond marketing materials when researching a cosmetic procedure. For some consumers, their research efforts are unsatisfactory.

Natalie Moreno of Monterey, Calif, found that she couldn’t find detailed information on a laser liposuction procedure on the Web. Moreno based her decision on information gleaned from a magazine article and doctor’s Web site. After her procedure, Moreno joined RealSelf.com to share her real-world experience to help others become better informed.

“I think it’s very hard to find good information out there. I really enjoy RealSelf as you can honestly share your story and even have doctors answer or view your stories,” Moreno said. RealSelf.com views credible cosmetic treatment organizations like ASAPS as instrumental to improving the consumer education process.

“Consumers want and deserve the complete picture before undergoing a cosmetic procedure, whether it is an injectable like Botox or a significant procedure like tummy tuck surgery,” said Tom Seery, President, RealSelf.com. “Our partnership with ASAPS gives our community members easy access to board-certified surgeons who are driven by their interest in patient safety and education, not just another advertising channel. This relationship aligns doctors with consumers that seek authentic conversations and trustworthy answers.”

About ASAPS

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. ASAPS active-member plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. www.surgery.org

About RealSelf.com

RealSelf.com (http://www.realself.com) is an unbiased consumer resource for cosmetic treatments and beauty-related topics. RealSelf.com provides thousands of consumer reviews, expert Q&A, a doctor finder, beauty news and more. RealSelf.com provides medical and beauty experts with a free online profile and a simple way to share insights in their own voice. The privately-held company is based in Seattle. Board members include Richard Barton, CEO of Zillow.com and Mike Slade, partner, Second Avenue Partners.

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

WE ARE AESTHETICS.

Website: www.surgery.org
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Locate a plastic surgeon in your area:  http://www.surgery.org/consumers/find-a-plastic-surgeon

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