Patients increasingly consult social media regarding aesthetic surgery. Given the popularity of fat transfer operations, this study assesses the quality and reliability of patient information available on YouTube regarding aesthetic fat grafting.
The terms “fat grafting” and “fat transfer” were searched on YouTube with respect to the terms “face”, “breast”, “buttock”, and “Brazilian butt lift”. Filtered by view count, the top 20 unique, English language, aesthetic surgery-related videos for each search combination were reviewed by three independent reviewers for demographic and descriptive characteristics. Videos were rated for information reliability and quality using the modified DISCERN (MD) tool (1 = low, 5 = high) and global quality scale (GQS) (1 = poor, 5 = excellent).
Out of 80 total videos, 76% were authored by physicians and 24% by laypersons. The overall mean MD score was 1.5 and the mean GQS was 2.6. Videos authored by physicians outscored those by non-medical authors (MD: 1.6 vs. 1.3; GQS 2.7 vs. 2.2). Board-certified plastic surgeon videos (N = 30) scored higher on both the MD (1.7 vs 1.3) and GQS (3.1 vs 2.2) than those of non-medical authors. On the contrary, videos by laypersons and non-plastic surgeons had 40% more views, twice as many “likes” and nearly double as many subscribers.
The overall quality of information presented in aesthetic fat grafting procedures videos on YouTube is low and from unreliable sources. Surgeons should educate patients regarding potentially inaccurate information, and professional societies should disseminate high-quality media.

Copyright © 2022 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.