Instagram Filters Launch New Facial Plastic Surgery Trend

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Sam Rizk, MD, Reports Rise in Smartphone Inspired Surgery Requests

For years, facial plastic surgery demands were driven largely by patients requesting celebrity features. Much like one would request a hairstyle, patients would use images of their favorite stars’ noses, eyes, cheeks, chin and more to illustrate their adaptation of choice. However, Instagram and other photo filtering apps like FaceTune are ushering in a new era of aesthetic envy – of ourselves.

Top Manhattan facial plastic surgeon, Sam Rizk, MD, FACS notes that since the explosion of smartphone photo filtering tools, more of his patients just want to look like the best version of themselves, not anyone else. The boom of image altering apps put Photoshop at everyone’s fingertips, leading to an uptick in the number of patients who bring in filter-enhanced photos of themselves for inspiration.

This recent development builds on January 2015 report from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) highlighting the increased influence of selfies on plastic surgery. Now, top-notch facilities, like Dr. Rizk’s Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery, are also seeing increased patient inquiries due to the use of phone filters.

"This trend began with people simply wanting to look better in their selfies, but has come full circle, with patients now showing their own filtered selfie images as their inspiration for surgery, says Dr. Rizk. “With the swipe of a finger, people are now able to erase a scar or achieve a less-prominent chin or more refined nose. Prospective patients bring these modified images in and ask us to recreate that self-edited version of themselves."

However, replicating those filtered results is not always a reality. Dr. Rizk warns patients to beware of selfie dysmorphia. Since images taken with a smart phone differ so widely from that of a mirror image, it can be a discouraging reality to patients when they look in the mirror and results do not reflect their filtered selves. The angle and many lighting options of self-taken photos can distort features, creating the illusion of a smaller nose, more defined cheekbones, larger eyes, etc. A surgeon must evaluate each patient in-person on an individual basis to determine what is truly possible and what will have a natural-looking result away from the camera lens.

Adds Dr. Rizk, “While we want to improve a patient’s appearance and meet their expectations, we also are interested in keeping them natural looking. Our goal is to help patients realize the confidence and beauty that exists within by making subtle outward changes.”

Dr. Rizk’s office is located at 1040 Park Avenue in Manhattan.

For more information on Sam Rizk, MD, FACS, visit

About Sam Rizk, MD, FACS
Sam Rizk, MD, FACS, is a double board certified New York City facial plastic surgeon and Director of Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery, a JCAHO accredited surgical suite on Park Avenue. Dr. Rizk is a recognized expert on the latest advances and techniques in facial plastic surgery. He is a leader in secondary rhinoplasty, nasal reconstruction and repairing nasal defects for all skin types and ethnicities. Dr. Rizk has been selected for Castle Connolly's Best Doctors NY-Metro Area for Facial Plastic Surgery, and is a frequent presenter at AAFPRS, AACS, and FACE Ltd.

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Dila Dedivanovic
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery
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