Plastic surgery is an evolving field of medicine affording patients with refined techniques, superior technology, and strides in science at every turn. While patients are benefiting from these numerous changes, pathways in learning more about procedures and board certified plastic surgeons are progressing, too.
A variety of internet platforms such as patient review sites have helped numerous individuals. However, there is a new site named Zwivel that has emerged addressing the needs of potential patients living in a fast-paced world. Described as an online cosmetic consultation portal, individuals can connect with multiple plastic surgeons learning about the procedures they are interested in, recovery information, surgery prices, and more.
Janet Morrissey of the New York Times wrote a comprehensive piece on Zwivel. While plastic surgery entails even nonsurgical treatments such as cosmetic injections, it’s an industry that is indeed becoming part of the American culture. And it’s available to everyone.
Many who have used Zwivel are calling it the pre-step to a plastic surgery consultation. It’s a complimentary site for potential patients which can mean a cost and time savings of booking multiple consultations with plastic surgeons in the early stages of their research.
Founded by Dr. Gary Breslow and Dr. Craig Abramowitz, Zwivel was created to help make the introductory process with plastic surgeons and prospective patients more effective.
“Just as Match.com allows strangers to scroll through and evaluate potential dates, Zwivel allows patients and doctors to size up each other and ask questions before committing to surgery,” Morrissey reports. “The site allows patients to check out doctors’ credentials, send photos or videos of themselves to preferred doctors, and get those doctors to answer questions about cosmetic procedures and prices, all free.”
With a Zwivel connection, the same questions can be sent to multiple doctors allowing a person to decide which doctor is a better match.
According to Zwivel, numbers have swelled since 2015. Last year, 800 doctors were signed up and that has skyrocketed to 1,400. Patient numbers have jumped from 6,100 to over 28,000.
When interviewing co-founder Dr. Breslow, he conveyed to the New York Times that roughly 36 percent of individuals who book a consultation actually move forward in scheduling the surgery. Dr. Breslow believed that this ratio was a direct link to people having incorrect or insufficient facts prior to their appointment.
“Patients who are severely overweight sometimes think liposuction is the answer, and I tell them, ‘You don’t need liposuction; you need to lose weight,’” Dr. Breslow told the New York Times in his article. “Or a patient may want $20,000 worth of surgery and thinks the whole thing is going to cost $200.”
For some, Zwivel is creating a window of opportunity to transform connections between individuals and doctors into formal consultations. It also affords people with the opportunity to be reminded of realistic expectations and to help do away with any misconceptions.
While Morrissey pointed out that not everyone is still convinced that a virtual consultation is their current way of doing things, it’s available. And at the end of the day, having options and being mindful is always a great thing when plastic surgery is up for consideration.