When i'm looking at surgeons' before and after photos, what should I be looking for specifically?
What Should I Look for in Liposuction Before and After Photos?
Doctor Answers (5)
There should be a lot of photos of good quality.
1) The number is important, because even a mediocre surgeon will get an occasional good result.
2) The position of the patient and the lighting have to be identical in the before and the after pictures. In New York City, we send patients to a professional medical photographer, but this is not standard throughout the country.
3) And check the credentials and reputation of the surgeon, because in this day of computer altered images, it boils down to trust.
Look for honesty
All plastic surgeons have a wide array of results with all their procedures. The plastic surgeon will show you his best results but you also need to see average results and worst results. Seeing average and below average results as well as above average results lets you also know that the surgeon is being forthright and honest in his presentation.
You can ask to see patients who look like you to begin with. If the doctor cannot produce these pictures it may be he has not done the procedure on someone like you.
One of the best things to do is to talk to other patients. The doctor should have a source of patients who would be willing to speak with prospective patients.
Photos are fallible
Although the conventional advice is to look at photos, I believe they are only a small piece of the puzzle. You might be able to exclude surgeons who have consistantly "bad" results but it is highly unlikely that those photos will be in the book that is shown to patients. Good looking results may not necessarily mean a particular patient is a happy client. Photos cannot tell you how a patient is treated or whehter the process was a positive one. An alternative is to ask to speak to patients who have been through a similar surgery. They can give you an idea of the experience, whether the surgeon was responsive to them, whether communication was adequate, etc.
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Consistency is the key
True before and afters are high quality photos that compare the same part of the body in both shots. Look to have the same pose (without arms in the way) in both photos. Photo panties are an excellent way to recreate the same shot. That way the color/size/style of the panties does not alter the anatomy.
There are standard poses for liposuction. In our office we do 6 standards poses for all liposuction. You should ask to see as many patients as possible and ask for patients who are about your age, your size, and your height.
Make sure you have a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Best of luck.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.