TikTok (San Jose, CA) is a popular and rapidly growing social media platform. With beauty and skincare among the top 5 most popular categories, TikTok represents an important platform for plastic surgery education and communication. However, given the vast array of content shared daily, regulating content for veracity is challenging. It may also be an important and potentially overlooked avenue for the dissemination of inaccurate information pertaining to plastic surgery. This systematic review evaluates TikTok's impact on plastic surgery. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Guidelines, a systematic literature review was performed of the use of TikTok within the plastic surgery field. The following databases were queried: PubMed (National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, MD), EMBASE (Elsevier; Amsterdam, the Netherlands), and PsychInfo (American Psychological Association; Washington, DC). The search captured 31 studies of which 7 were included in the final analysis. The studies examined the following areas: gender-affirming surgery (n = 1), breast reconstruction (n = 1), aesthetic surgical procedures (n = 1), plastic surgeon profiles (n = 1), and profiles of videos relating to plastic surgery hashtags (n = 3). The videos' quality was assessed using the DISCERN scale. Physician videos scored notably higher than nonphysician videos. The mean DISCERN score across all the videos (n = 386) was 1.91 (range: 1.44-3.00), indicating poor quality. TikTok is a popular medium for sharing plastic surgery content. The existing literature has demonstrated overall poor-quality information on plastic surgery, and further study is needed to evaluate its impact in terms of perceptions of the specialty and healthcare behaviors. Future work should focus on promoting accurate, high-quality videos, potentially including a peer-review function for healthcare content. This can leverage TikTok's potential for disseminating content while upholding patient safety.
Read the full study here: TikTok in Plastic Surgery: A Systematic Review of Its Uses