Assessing the educational quality of 'YouTube' videos for facelifts

Am J Otolaryngol. 2019 Mar-Apr;40(2):156-159. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2019.01.001. Epub 2019 Jan 4.


Objectives: Facelifts are among the most common facial plastic procedures performed. Given the existence of a variety of surgical approaches and the proximity of key anatomical structures, the development of proper surgical skills and knowledge is necessary to ensure positive outcomes. Many surgical learners utilize YouTube videos as supplemental tools in their education. Our aim was to gauge the quality and quantity of available YouTube videos describing the surgical approach to rhytidectomy.

Methods: The YouTube video platform was searched using predefined keywords. Videos meeting inclusion criteria were reviewed and scored by 3 practicing facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Thirteen different intraoperative, pre/postoperative, and video quality characteristics were scored on a binary scale by each grader. Descriptive statistics were obtained and interrater reliability was assessed using Kappa's coefficient.

Results: Thirteen videos met criteria for analysis. A high degree of interrater reliability was confirmed using Kappa's coefficient, with κ values = 0.73, 0.75, and 0.59 for each combination of scorers. In general, YouTube videos were found to be deficient in discussing key criteria of rhytidectomy, particularly with regards to pre/postoperative points such as indications, patient selection, and possible complications. Intraoperative benchmarks were also lacking, with 8/13 videos not discussing the facial nerve and 8/13 failing to demonstrate an appropriate facelift incision.

Conclusions: YouTube instructional videos depicting rhytidectomy lack discussion of key tenets of successful facelift surgery. Until improvement in the educational quality of such material occurs, surgical trainees should implement discretion when choosing YouTube videos to complement their learning.

Level of evidence: Not Applicable.

Keywords: Facelift; Rhytidectomy; Surgical education; Video; YouTube.

MeSH terms

  • Data Accuracy*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Educational Measurement*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rhytidoplasty / education*
  • Rhytidoplasty / methods*
  • Social Media*
  • Video Recording*