All reputable cosmetic surgeons have “before and after” photos—a portfolio of their work. While selected photos may appear online, additional images are presented during your consultation visit. Make sure you get an opportunity to study the photos that specifically relate to you and your chosen procedure.
Before and after photos are your best measure for determining whether or not a cosmetic surgeon is right for you. You want more than just proof that the doctor has performed the surgery before. Here are five things to look for when trying to decide to place your trust—as well as your body, breasts, or face—with a surgeon:
- Look for patients similar to yourself. It can be difficult to imagine yourself “in the photo” when looking at pictures of other patients. To make it a little easier, look for pictures of patients who are the same gender, age, weight, and/or ethnicity as you. This will give you a better idea of the results you can expect.
- Note the pose and lighting. Before and after photos should show patients in the same pose and under the same lighting. A different pose can hide a scar or a less-than-flattering result. Different lighting can make a photo look better even if the results were only so-so. Skilled cosmetic surgeons show pictures that clearly depict their work.
- Look for symmetry. Whether you are looking at photos of body, breast, or facial procedures, look for symmetrical results. Every person has some natural asymmetry and perfection may not be possible, but the surgeon should help to “even up” any significant imbalances.
- Review the placement of scars. Every surgical procedure leaves scars, but an experienced cosmetic surgeon hides them as much as possible, either within the skin’s natural folds or within bra or panty lines. Check to see if the scars in the photos are too obvious. Ask questions about the incision points for these patients.
- Evaluate the surgeon’s artistic abilities. Cosmetic surgery is an art form. Do you agree with the surgeon’s concept of “beauty?” Before and after photos usually show a range of the surgeon’s typical results. Are the results in the photos what you visualize for yourself? Do the results appear natural? If you aren’t satisfied with what you see in the photos, chances are you won’t be satisfied after your procedure. We recommend you keep looking.
To validate authenticity, ask if you can contact past patients. Most surgeons can provide references. If a surgeon is not forthcoming, take it as a red flag.
Remember that a plastic surgery consultation is nonbinding. Take the time to find a surgeon who can give you the look you want. We’re so sure that you’ll be impressed with the surgeons at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa that our consultations are free. Contact us to schedule your free consultation.