Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Issues During the COVID-19 Period Using Topic Modeling

Sanghoo Yoon (1), Young A Kim (2)
(1) Department of Statistics, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, 61186, Republic of Korea
(2) College of Nursing & Nursing Research Institute, Jeju National University, Jeju-si, 63243, Republic of Korea
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Yoon, Sanghoo, and Young A Kim. “Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Issues During the COVID-19 Period Using Topic Modeling”. International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, vol. 14, no. 3, June 2024, pp. 853-8, doi:10.18517/ijaseit.14.3.18079.
This study investigates media coverage of cosmetic surgery in South Korea from 2014 to 2023 using text mining techniques applied to news articles from BigKinds. It focuses on assessing the prevalence of objective information and the societal impacts of capital-driven misinformation.  The research methodology involved optimal topic modeling through perplexity, likelihood, BIC, and similarity measures, identifying five themes within the cosmetic surgery news corpus. Further analysis included quantitative topic recognition via fuzzy clustering by period, sentiment analysis, and network analysis utilizing n-gram techniques to explore relationships between key terms. Findings reveal five main topics covered in cosmetic surgery news: Consumer Psychology, Cosmetic Surgery Market, Cosmetic Companies and Technologies, Side Effects and Incidents, and the Tourism Industry. The period from 2014 to 2016 saw significant coverage, particularly on medical tourism and surgical side effects, while in 2017, attention shifted to the surgical process and market stability. From 2018 onward, news coverage expanded, especially in May, focusing on cosmetic technology and related industries amid increased outdoor activities. With the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there was a resurgence in coverage of the cosmetic surgery market. In 2023, post-pandemic, there was an uptick in articles related to cosmetic surgery technology industries and support funds. The core words in cosmetic surgery news were spreading around "plastic surgery," "China," and "Botulinum". The study sheds light on the potential influence of capital on media portrayals of cosmetic surgery and the resulting societal consequences of misinformation.

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