Knowledge and perception of plastic surgery among tertiary education students in Enugu, South-East Nigeria
Background: Knowledge, perception, and acceptance of plastic surgery among any population are influenced by channel of presentation. A good understanding of the public awareness will define the way plastic surgery services will be provided.
Aim: To assess the knowledge, awareness of availability, and acceptance of plastic surgery practice in Enugu, South East Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire‑based prospective study.
Results: The electronic media is the most common medium of awareness. Less than half the sample knew about the existence of plastic surgeons in Enugu even though a large proportion was aware of the existence of plastic surgery as a specialty. The concentration of plastic surgeons in a center is directly related to awareness of plastic surgery services in that facility. The most common esthetic procedure done by a plastic surgeon in Enugu is tattoo removal and scar refashioning. Orthopedic surgeons are thought to be key players in the management of burn patients as much as the plastic surgeons due to the “SIGNPOST EFFECT.”
Conclusion: The level of awareness is high in the sampled population with associated increase in acceptance of its practice and willing utilization. All public hospitals should be encouraged to employ the services of plastic surgeons. Appropriate branding of specialized hospitals where plastic surgery service is available will advance the practice significantly.
Keywords: Knowledge, perception, plastic surgery, signpost effect