The before-and-after photo gallery is, without question, one of the hottest spots of any plastic surgeon’s website. Photographs are an excellent way for a surgeon to communicate what their surgical results look like, and patients can get an idea of what they may expect working with that surgeon.
However, it is important to look at these images with a discerning eye. Here are some tips from trusted plastic surgeon Ronald Schuster to help you as you navigate a plastic surgeon’s photo gallery.
Is the Photography Consistent?
Some plastic surgeons use inconsistent photography to imply that the “after” image is better than the “before.” For example, they may shoot their “before” images in bad lighting with poor backgrounds and ask patients not to wear makeup; then, the “after” images are shot in more flattering light with a better background and the patient in full makeup.
Beware of these “glamour shots,” which can distract from the patient’s actual physical transformation. Photographs that are consistent in composition, lighting and backdrop are a sign that the surgeon cares about their results and wants to showcase what they can do.
After Surgery vs. After Healing
Another important aspect of photo galleries is the point at which the “after” image was taken. Was it a day or two after the stitches were removed, or after the patient finished healing? Displaying “after” images when the patient has not fully healed perpetuates an unrealistic expectation. In the case of a breast augmentation patient, you want to see how her breasts look after the implants have settled, not how they look right after the stitches are removed.
How Varied Are the Results?
Beware of the surgeon that highlights cookie-cutter results that look identical. It’s actually more helpful to see surgeons that tailor their approach to the needs of the individual patient and honor the person’s unique beauty. In particular, look for patients with challenging anatomy and think about how the surgeon managed those complex cases and produced the desired results.
Descriptions Are Helpful
Ideally, before-and-after galleries should include a description of the patient, detailing their physical stats and treatment details. It is helpful to know the age of the patient, whether they have had children, their goals of surgery and the specific details of the operation. This context is helpful for the sake of comparing your information to that of the patient in the photo.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Ronald Schuster
Would you like to improve an area of your face or body? Contact Dr. Schuster today and schedule a consultation to discuss your surgical treatment options.