How to Look at Before & After Photos

Raise your hand if the first place you went on our site was our before & after gallery. . . Don’t feel guilty—feel smart! You have to make sure a surgeon can achieve the results you want for your body. The before & after photos tell that story better than anything. But you have to know what you’re looking at, and why. Follow these steps as you begin your search, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the right surgeon for you!

The Before Photos:  Why They’re Just as Important

Looking at the right before photos will help you make better informed judgments about what’s possible with a given procedure and how each surgeon approaches that procedure for patients similar to you. Here’s how:

  1. Find patients who look like you in the before pictures. It’s important to concentrate on photos of patients whose age, frame, features, and skin tone are similar to yours, because what you start with in large part determines what you end up with.
  2. Among these patients, note results that come close to what you have in mind for how you’d like to look. If possible, take these with you to your consultation to help you articulate your goals for cosmetic surgery.
  3. You may also want to make note of results that you don’t like. You can also take these to prospective surgeons to help you describe what you like (and don’t like) and why.
  4. Create a personal portfolio of all of these images. (Pssst … we can help you out with this one; choose & compare your favorite LJC before & afters in our gallery!)

The After Photos: The Devil’s in the Details

Now that you’ve built a portfolio of your faves, it’s time to get down and dirty. Details in the after photos such as symmetry and scarring can say a lot about a surgeon’s experience and aesthetic eye.Learn the 5 most important things to look for in after photos.

Who’s Hip Like You?
Compare Photo in Our Gallery!

These Hips?
… or These?

5 Secrets a Surgeon’s Photos Give Away

So now you’ve found before & after photos that make you want to pick up the phone and call for a consultation. But whether you’re viewing photos online and in the office, approach your review with a healthy skepticism. Be realistic, but also pay close attention for the following:

  • Be wary of results that seem too perfect. While you’ll certainly want to choose a surgeon who produces consistently beautiful results, even the most esteemed surgeons in the field have patients whose results are just so-so. The right surgeon will show you his best results alongside the less-than-best. Seeing all the possibilities will help you make more informed choices about surgery.
  • Confirm that you’re actually seeing that surgeon’s work. Don’t be shy about asking. A reputable plastic surgeon will not take offense. In fact, we want you to ask. It tells us you’re taking your decision to have surgery seriously.
  • Look for a variety of outcomes for a variety of patients. This can help demonstrate how a surgeon adjusts his or her surgical technique to meet the needs of individual patients.
  • Make sure the patients look like better versions of themselves in their after photos. It’s important that a surgeon have the proven ability to create results that look natural to an individual patient’s anatomy.
  • Make sure the surgeon’s results align with your aesthetic vision. Do the majority of the results you see appeal to you? Don’t be afraid to say goodbye to a surgeon whose aesthetic point of view does not match yours. After all, your results need to fit your ideal, not anyone else’s. A good surgeon understands this, and may even recommend a colleague who may better suit your needs.

With a smart approach, your time spent sifting through before & after photos will not only help you choose the right surgeon, it’ll teach you more about cosmetic surgery in general. And the more you know, the more you can get out of your consultation once you do start visiting surgeons. You can read all about that next, but we won’t blame you if you head straight to our before and after gallery.