Are All PS Supposed to Have Before and After Photo's for Patients to See?

are all Ps supposed to have before and after photo's for patients to see?

Doctor Answers 7

Before and After Photos

   Most plastic surgeons have before and after photos to give patients an idea of the results that can be expected.  However, it is not mandatory to show patients photos of former patients.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Before and after photos

It is not mandatory or a requirement but most plastic surgeons do some form of it. The really difficult issue is showing the patient what s/he will look like after the procedure. There is no way to do this totally fairly or objectively. 

When viewing before-and-after photos be aware that the patient in the picture should have given written consent to use the photos. Before and after photos should be taken of all patients including you but they shouldn't be shown to others without permission. They should remain part of your protected medical record. 

Things to watch out for include:

-- clear detail of what procedure was done

-- interval between before and after pictures

-- no photoshopping or adjustments

-- pictures take with the same light, background, distance, and position or expression

-- no other changes between pictures such as weight changes

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Question response patient pictures

Hello, this  is in excellent question. We get this question often in our practice. We are more than happy to show some prospective patients  some of our work. Most plastic surgeons will be happy to show examples of the work they've gone over the years. This may also include examples where the scarring may not be optimal. Be prepared to ask the surgeon and/or his staff to see some of their best case's and  also some other more average surgical results. I feel that this is an excellent way for patients to get as much information as possible.


John J. O`Brien, Jr., MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Plastic surgeons should have many pre and post op photos but are not required to have them.

Personal outcome photos are part of the information process for the patient.  Both good and bad outcomes should be part of the education process.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Before and after picture

Thank you for the question. No is the answer to your question. But, the reason for having before and after pictures is to help patients make a decision on the surgery and they become better informed about their procedure. Seeing where the scars are going to be, the different shapes of the breast etc.  will allow a better understanding of the procedure to the patient. It is best if these photos are from the surgeon's own photo gallery. And I do advise my patient to check the before and after gallery on my website.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Before and After Pictures in Plastic Surgery?

I do not think that it is possible to generalize about every plastic surgery practice. However, most plastic surgeons I know take pictures of their patients before and after surgery; these pictures can be used for future patient education. I find that my patients appreciate the  opportunity to see lots of examples of our work;  this experience also helps develop patient confidence in our abilities.  Sometimes patients use previous patients' photographs to help communicate their goals as well.

 Frankly, I would be concerned if ( as a patient)  a plastic surgeon is not able to show me examples of previous patients he/she has helped.

 I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews


 Thanks for the question. If your surgeon is honest they may not have pre & post operative pictures of all of their actual patients for all the procedures they perform. There are several reasons. The most common reason is that an informed consent is required from their actual patients for you to visualize their photographs. Many patients such as face ( Face Lift, Bletharoplasty, etc.) patients often refuse to release their photographs for public viewing. The second most common reason is your surgeon may not have had enough experience in practice to have these types of photographs. The last but, often the most common reason can be a lack of effort by the surgeon & staff to obtain consent and publish these types of materials. For example skin cancer reconstruction can be so common a procedure that often many surgeons have few pictures of their actual results.
 Caution should exercised when choosing surgeons or practitioners that utilize national advertising photograph banks to show you pre & post operative pictures such as Thermage, Life Style, Slim Lipo, etc. Often, they have paid a large fee to utilize these companies materials as an advertising campaign. Consider asking “ARE THESE YOUR ACUTAL PATIENTS DOCTOR??” Best,



Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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.