The Importance of Reviewing Before and After Photos in Consultation with a Plastic Surgeon

April 19, 2012 - by

“Before and after” photos show a surgeon’s past patients, before and after their procedure. Many surgeons display a selection of photos online, but it is important to continue the photo review process at your consultation. Here are some key reasons why:

  • Some patients don’t give permission to display their photos online, so you’ll get to see more results when you go to the plastic surgeon’s office.
  • After examining you in consultation, your surgeon will be able to pick out patients with anatomy and concerns that are similar to your own.

During your consultation, observe how many photos there are of the procedures you are considering. The number can give you a clue to how much experience the surgeon has in that procedure. Review the photos for results that please you, and ask if the surgeon can achieve something similar for you. The surgeon should provide you with honest answers—your anatomy may be a limiting factor, but you want a realistic opinion about what is possible.

Below, Dr. Zevon has listed the five most important things to look for in before and after photos:

  • Find patients who are similar to you: similar age, build, weight, gender, and ethnicity. This will give you a more realistic picture of the type of results you can expect from that surgeon. This trick will also help you visualize yourself after surgery, so you can decide if you really want the procedure.
  • Regardless of the procedure, you can look for how symmetrical the results are. While perfection is not a reasonable goal and everyone has some natural asymmetry, a good surgeon should be able to help balance your right and left breasts, arms, thighs, hips, cheeks, eyes—whatever you’re having done.
  • Observe the scars in the “after” photos. Every surgery leaves a scar, but a good surgeon can make them as small and inconspicuous as possible. To more accurately compare surgeons’ results, find out how long after surgery the post-op photos were shot. Incisions change dramatically over time. A few weeks post-op, they will still be red and clearly visible, but by six months, they will have faded.
  • Look for consistent photos. Different lighting can make an after photo look better or hide a scar. A quick scan can tell you if the patients are in the same pose and under the same lighting. Experienced Manhattan plastic surgeons have nothing to hide and make the effort to consistently document their results.
  • Plastic surgery is like an art form. Before and after photos are an excellent way to assess the surgeon’s aesthetic sense of beauty. If you aren’t pleased by the results depicted in the photos, then you probably won’t be satisfied with your results, either.

If you don’t see results you like, keep looking for another surgeon. It’s your body, and you should not have surgery unless you have confidence in your surgeon. Do not compromise.

A plastic surgery consultation is nonbinding, so you can schedule more than one to meet multiple doctors. Take your time finding a surgeon you trust. The consultations at Central Park Plastic Surgery are free because we not only believe in this important step, but also feel confident that you’ll find Dr. Zevon both talented and compassionate. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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