There are numerous benefits to this approach: It allows us the opportunity to guide patients through their recovery by explaining proper care before their first post-surgical visit. Our patients get the reassurance they’re healing normally without having to be seen in person before they’re scheduled to return to the office. It enables patients to freely communicate and thus feel more comfortable posing questions in the early stages of their recovery process. Post-surgical selfies are never a replacement for an in-person follow-up visit but they are an effective complement to any “after-care” protocol. A recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal drew the same conclusion. Researchers studied the use of a smartphone-based cosmetic surgery post-operative follow-up protocol, in which 57 plastic surgery patients sent their surgeon’s smartphone pictures of their surgical sites within 48 to 72 hours post-surgery. Prior to discharging them, plastic surgeons texted their patients with instructions on how and when to forward these post-operative pictures. Surgeons then responded to their patients the very day they sent the photos to review their post-op progress. Patients recorded their thoughts in a questionnaire evaluating their experience and satisfaction with the program, according to the study. The study’s findings confirmed that “the patient can effectively utilize the smartphone” to report progress to the surgeon. This both enhances the patient’s postoperative experience and alert the surgeon to early postoperative problems.