What to look out for in plastic surgery before and after photos

It’s likely that one of the actions you take before deciding on a plastic surgery procedure is heading over to a website’s patient case study page. By browsing before and after photos of patients, it can help to tick many boxes for you as a patient before making your final decision. It provides you with realistic expectations, educates you on the procedure itself and gives you an indication of what your final results will be before you’ve even touched a surgical table.

Beyond this, it also tells you a lot about how skilled the surgeon is and just how much experience they’ve had within the industry. When you’re browsing through before and after photos, you’ll want to critique every aspect of the images to ensure it’s the right procedure for you.

The following tips will help you to understand what it is you’d want to look out for and what the gallery can tell you when it comes to imagining your final results.

Choose a patient that’s similar to you

The outcome for a lot of surgical procedures are heavily dependent on what you look like [1] at the moment of considering surgery. The best way to gain a good expectation of what your results might be is to choose patients that have a similar shape/look to you in the “before” photos i.e if they had sagging breasts before breast augmentation surgery.

From these patients, review the results of each of the cosmetic surgeons that you’re considering. From the “after” photos, then decide which results you find most appealing and why. Similarly, make a note of the results that you don’t like so you have an idea of which cosmetic surgeons best suit your aesthetic needs.

Look for consistency but not consistent results

The most highly skilled surgeons are the ones that are able to adjust their technique for the sake of the patients needs or the notable differences in their anatomy. Not every person’s the same, so it’s important that surgeons are able to do this. How you can identify this is if the final results appear different, but the patient still looks naturally beautiful.

If the patient’s still have beautiful results but the “after” photos appear the same, this indicates that the surgeon’s skills are limited. They only seem to be good at obtaining results for one procedure, in which case you may want to consider a different surgeon.

Consider the symmetry

There can be occasions where patients have natural variations in their symmetry. This is either severe or slight. It’s rare that cosmetic surgeons are able to attain perfect symmetry but a skilled surgeon will still be able maintain or even improve the symmetry in certain features. Noticeable difference after the surgery would suggest strongly that the surgeon has made a mistake or has trouble with performing the surgery.

Make note of the patient’s scars

The size of scar incisions can vary depending on the procedure [2] that’s taking place. For example, far more tissue would be removed in a tummy tuck compared to a patient going through a mini tummy tuck). A skilled surgeon will try to make the scars as less visible as possible and try to create incisions in folds under the skin rather than extremely visible. The more concealed the scars are, the better, particularly if the results still look amazing. It should be noted that scars will occur after surgery as incisions will need to be made in the skin.

Look at the photos online and during your consultation

Surgeons tend to have limited space on their website for the number of photos they can show online. This is to prevent their site from being slow. However, they will most likely keep a print photo album of the majority of their patients too. This will provide you with even more photos to compare patients and whether you wish to choose that surgeon.

It also provides the opportunity to understand how often the surgeon performs the procedure that you want and how experienced they are. If they have more pictures of the surgery you’re looking to have, it’ll show that they’ve performed it numerous times and are comfortable with conducting the surgery.

Be patient with your choice

Looking at before and after photos is an important aspect before deciding whether to go through with cosmetic surgery. Be sure to review and analyse the photos so that you’re sure you’ve chosen the correct surgeon and you’ll achieve positive results. The points above will help you in understanding what you need to look for and feel more comfortable in your choice.


[1] https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-surgery-are-you-good-candidate

[2] https://www.webmd.com/beauty/cosmetic-procedures-scars

What to look out for in plastic surgery before and after photos 3
Jamie Costello
Jamie Costello is a healthcare assistant based in the UK. He uses his education and experience working alongside experts in health and cosmetic surgery to help produce his articles. When he’s not writing, he’s either in full-time work or playing sports.

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