How many plastic surgeons' websites contain information recommended by the ASPS advertising code of ethics?

Hyunjae Jay Yu, Yongick Jeong, Taehyun Baek, Ilwoo Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Websites are rapidly replacing print media as the main medium for American plastic surgeons to advertise their practices to patients, as consumers, in the highly competitive market of plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons may believe exaggerating their advertising messages on their websites will help them compete. These practices also raise concern that their advertising messages may displace information patients, as consumers, need for clinically sound choices. Using theAmerican Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Advertising Code of Ethics("Code") adopted in 2002, we reviewed websites maintained by plastic surgeons to learn whether these websites contained specific items recommended or suggested by the Code. Our preliminary work does not assess whether choosing not to post a given item makes a plastic surgeon more or less ethical in clinical practice. We tested for relationships between items listed with the Code such as specialty board certification, health plans honored or accepted, and practice limitations related to a specific area or field. Additional items queried included the city of practice, presence of a physician photo, practice specialty, and the presence of photo demonstrating a cosmetic effect. Our results show the majority of these websites contain very few of the ASPS recommended items. Moreover, we identified significant relationships between features of the websites and the items recommended for inclusion by the ASPS. We believe more studies are required to learn whether our findings have implications for ethical behavior and patient care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternet Journal of Law, Healthcare and Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Advertising ethics
  • Code of ethics of the american society of plastic surgeons
  • Physicians advertising
  • Plastic surgery
  • Public policy
  • Regulations
  • Websites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects


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