What To Look for in Before-and-After Photos

Woman looking at computer

People considering cosmetic surgery often browse before-and-after photos of patients who had the same procedure they want before choosing a plastic surgeon. Along with patient reviews, B&A photos wield significant influence on a patient’s choice of a surgeon. But what should you look for in photos if, for example, you thinking of eyelid surgery in Nashville?

In this blog post, I’ll explain some details you should be aware of and why not all before-and-after photos reflect the true nature of the results.

What Is the Value of Before-and-After Photos?

Looking at the photos featured in a plastic surgeon’s before-and-after photo gallery or on social media helps people get a sense of the results a surgeon considers successful. These photos are often a person’s first impression of the surgeon, seen when they’re still researching and before they’ve scheduled consultations. Because the photos are so important for surgeons, you should be sure they reflect realistic results and aren’t “doctored” in some way.

eyelid surgery before-and-after photos

How To Look at Before-and-After Photos

When looking at a facial plastic surgeon’s before-and-after photos, several factors can influence the images you see. Shadows, lighting, angles, and makeup can all be used to enhance the “after” photos. Here are some things to keep in mind as you browse photos:

Be aware of editing: It’s easier than ever to seamlessly manipulate photos. Comparing multiple photos of the same procedure can help you detect which ones have been edited. Natural skin texture is useful to examine. Skin that appears unnaturally smooth may indicate a photo has been altered.

Look for multiple angles: This is especially important for facial plastic surgery procedures. Seeing only a direct view can be misleading. Our before-and-after photos all feature at least three angles, giving patients a comprehensive look at the results.

Consider the lighting: If the lighting and backdrops are significantly different, you’re not really getting a true “before” and “after” comparison. Shadows can be used to either make the before photos look worse or enhance the outcomes. Consistency is important.

The use of zoom: This isn’t about Zoom meetings. Zooming in or out with the camera can distort features, making them appear either larger or smaller. Again, a good rule of thumb is to observe whether all the photos of a particular procedure have been taken from the same distance.

Combination procedures: Facial rejuvenation patients often have more than a single procedure performed during an operation. Before-and-after photos should indicate, for example, that a facelift patient also had lower eyelid surgery and laser skin resurfacing so patients understand that a facelift alone isn’t responsible for the transformation.

Another tip for making the most of before-and-after photos is to look for someone with facial features and concerns similar to yours. That way, you can get a better idea of what is possible and have reasonable expectations about the results you may get.

If you’re looking for a facial plastic surgeon in the Nashville, TN, area, use the online form to request a consultation with Dr. Boggess or call our office at (615) 942-8016 to schedule an appointment.

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