Before and After Photos, Are They Relevant?
Posted October 27, 2021
There are a few things we recommend patients do when considering a plastic surgery procedure and researching their surgeon. One of them is to view the before and after photos on the practice website. This is to give the patient a reference point as to what the surgeon considers a good result and if the patient’s goals are in line with that. We all recognize that the surgeon is probably not going to post anything that is not considered a good result, but hopefully, they include realistic results and a variety of patients.
It is also important to remember that the photos must be approved by the patient to be used for the website or social media sharing. Not everyone wants to have their pictures posted nor do they want people to know they have had plastic surgery. Some patients may choose to allow the surgeon to share their photos in-office but do not want anything posted on the web. It is not the surgeon’s choice but the patient’s. A patient care coordinator may be able to show you specific procedure photos after your consultation if they have been approved for in-office sharing. A patient may also be able to talk with a previous patient that has already had the procedure done that they are interested in. Again, this depends on each individual office and their patient population.
Before and After photos are important to confirm that the surgeon performs the procedure you are interested in and that their result is desirable. Again, it is important to remember that each patient is unique, and everyone heals differently. A surgeon can perform a procedure in a similar fashion each time with some patients having a thicker scar or longer recovery time. Surgery is not a one size fits all: procedure or recovery.
It is important to take note of the photo timeline and the position of the patient when photographed. If there is anything that appears suspicious when viewing, ask for answers. This may be an innocent photography error but could also be done to try and enhance the surgeons’ results.
As with reviews, Before and After photos are one piece in the research process to determine the best surgeon when considering surgery.