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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sandra A. Collins, M.A., M.L.S.(Duquesne University)
Description: This is a top-down look at Internet resources on cosmetic surgery, starting with search engines and megasites, highlighting specific surgeries, skin and dental work, as well as mainstream augmentation, sculpting and reduction. It provides statistics as well on all sorts of popular procedures.
Purpose: The purpose is to make more accessible the ready and voluminous online information on cosmetic and elective plastic surgery. Secondarily, it focuses on quality sites for those seeking reconstructive surgery. The book definitely meets the first objective well and only peripherally accomplishes the second.
Audience: This work is clearly intended for the average consumer with or without a general health background. It tries to help them navigate the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet by organizing and categorizing various websites. However, it does presume a minimum level of computer literacy (i.e., the ability to point and click).
Features: This work provides a comprehensive overview to health-related and organizational websites dedicated to cosmetic surgeries. It systematically leads the reader through the basics of searching to choosing a surgeon, surgical options for various body needs and a variety of specialty services such as dental implants, hair replacement, and micropigmentation. It offers some unique features such as international cosmetic surgery sites and a short index.
Assessment: This is a conventional guide to a limited ephemeral medium with several caveats. First, it's short on insurance information and costs (although it points to specific physicians' sites that offer fee schedules) as well as the distinctions between reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries. Secondly, while it focuses on health-related sites from professional associations, very few — if any — give personal data such as one might find in blogs. Furthermore, as with many Internet guides, some of the same sites appear repeatedly, which diminishes the book's effectiveness. Finally, how women seek this sort of information is left out. Do women really use the Internet for this sort of thing? How much do they depend upon word-of-mouth, friends, and doctor recommendations to pursue cosmetic surgery? What role does the Internet play —is it adjunct to a decision already made or is it providing the impetus to that decision?