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RealSelf Partners with Playwright and Performance Artist Susan Lieu to Educate Consumers About Elective Surgery Safety and Provide Guidance on Researching Doctors

RealSelf Partners with Playwright and Performance Artist Susan Lieu to Educate Consumers About Elective Surgery Safety and Provide Guidance on Researching Doctors RealSelf Introduces New Content to Inform Consumers About Medical Certifications, Hosts February 9 Performance of "140 LBS" Play

PR Newswire

SEATTLE, Feb. 6, 2019

SEATTLE, Feb. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- RealSelf, the leading online resource to learn about cosmetic treatments and connect with medical aesthetic doctors, today announced it is hosting the February 9 performance of Susan Lieu's "140 LBS, How Beauty Killed My Mother." This theatrical solo show is the true story of how Lieu's mother died from plastic surgery malpractice when she was just 11 years old. The show runs from February 7 to 17, 2019, at Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle. Lieu and Maureen Ezekwugo, executive vice president at RealSelf, will participate in a post-performance discussion moderated by TheEvergrey co-founder and editor, Monica Guzman.

RealSelf is launching new safety guidelines aimed at helping consumers make safe and confident decisions about elective procedures, including: 

"Most consumers don't understand the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon, or that board certification isn't all-inclusive. I know that I didn't until I started at RealSelf," said RealSelf chief brand and communications officer Jani Strand. "RealSelf provides unfiltered information directly from people who have had procedures, as well as insights from the medical community. The combination of these perspectives helps people make confident decisions about what's right for them. In the long term, we believe we can help make procedures safer and more effective."

RealSelf provides consumers with transparent information about hundreds of aesthetic treatments, ranging from surgical procedures like breast augmentation and rhinoplasty to minimally invasive treatments such as injectable fillers, lasers, and microneedling. Prospective patients can browse reviews and before and after photos, learn more about the average downtime or cost of a procedure, and connect with board-certified medical professionals.

"My mother's death was not just tragic, it was preventable," said Lieu. "The plastic surgeon had a track record of negligence with 24 lawsuits, probation, and being sanctioned by the medical board. If she would have known, she could have been alive today. At the end of the day, I believe in a woman's right to choose. If I could turn back time, I don't think I could have prevented my mother from doing plastic surgery. Rather, I wish I could have given her more resources to make an educated decision, and I appreciate RealSelf's efforts to offer those resources."

Under the current policies, if the surgeon who operated on Susan's mother had a profile on RealSelf, his profile page would include a message that said "license restricted," as he was on probation at the time of the surgery. RealSelf would also have prevented him from answering questions or offering advice on the platform, and from receiving consumer inquiries through RealSelf.

Today, consumers should be able to find out if their prospective doctor is on probation by searching their state's Department of Health database, but should keep in mind that no method is perfect and the absence of information doesn't guarantee a doctor is qualified. Patients in Washington can use the Provider Credential Search function on the Washington State Department of Health's website, which is updated daily.

To learn more about RealSelf, please visit:

About RealSelf
RealSelf  is the leading online marketplace for people to learn and share experiences about cosmetic procedures and connect with the right providers. Millions of people from around the world visit RealSelf each month to browse patient reviews, before and after photos, and medical expert answers to discover which treatments and providers live up to their promise of being "Worth It." From simple skincare to emerging nonsurgical technologies to highly considered cosmetic surgeries, RealSelf makes it easy to get the insights needed to make smart, confident decisions and find the right doctor. For more information, visit The Treatment blog or follow RealSelf on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

About Susan Lieu
Susan Lieu is a Vietnamese-American playwright, solo performer and activist whose parents are Vietnamese refugee nail salon workers. "140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother" is an autobiographical solo show on how Susan's mother died from plastic surgery malpractice when Susan was 11 years old. The show weaves together several through-lines: the multi-generational immigrant experience; body insecurity and shame; repression and subsequent examination of personal loss; lack of accountability in the medical system. Lieu has a background in stand-up comedy and improv. She has a BA in Social Studies from Harvard, an MBA from Yale and is the co-founder of Socola Chocolatier, an artisanal chocolate company in San Francisco. To learn more about Susan's work, go to or follow her on instagram @susanlieu.


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Last Updated: 06-Feb-2019