If a doctor won't show me before-and-afters, but he's board certified, can I still use him?

The doctor says privacy laws prevent him from showing me photos. But he's board certified and he has a good reputation and is polite. Maybe he's fine for my rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 15

If a doctor won't show me before-and-afters, but he's board certified, can I still use him?

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It seems highly unusual to find a specialist years of experience rhinoplasty who is unwilling or unable to show you before and after photos of other patients.  It is so important to have confidence in your surgeon before going under the knife.  Get some other opinions and meet other board-certified plastic surgeons to see if you feel differently after consulting with other doctors before deciding.  The best time to get an excellent result from a rhinoplasty is at the time of the first surgery so it is important to avoid mistakes.  Best wishes 

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Rhinoplasty Before & After Photos

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I would approach with caution given the fact that most experienced rhinoplasty surgeons will have a healthy number of before and after photos to show you. Although there are some patients who do not wish to have their photos shared, a significant number of patients will consent to using their photos. So I am suspect of his excuse about privacy laws. Before and after photos are one of the best methods of evaluating your prospective surgeon's ability to create natural looking rhinoplasty results on a consistent basis. 

John M. Hilinski, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Rhinoplasty but no post op photos

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It would be considered unusual  for a  surgeon not to have enough patients that would allow their post op photos  to be seen by other patients. Rhinoplasty can  be a very challenging  operation for  some PS and post op  photos are  important. 

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See a Rhinoplasty Specialist

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If only for comparison, perhaps you could travel to see a rhinoplasty specialist.  Board certification is a minimum requirement for cosmetic surgery.  You may want a surgeon with quite a few rhinoplasty patients.  Some ENT and plastic surgeons perform ONLY rhinoplasty.  This person will certainly have before and after photos to show you.  All the best to you.

D`Arcy Honeycutt, MD
Bismarck Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

If a doctor won't show me before-and-afters, but he's board certified, can I still use him?

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This is a worrisome answer. Typically a surgeon will ask patients who have had procedure to sign a photo consent and release form allowing the sharing of photos with future patients. Not everyone wants to do this, however a surgeon that can't show you any photos would be questionable to me. Good luck.

Richard Zienowicz, MD
Providence Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

No before and after photos

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Thank you for your question.

I sense a lot of hesitation in your question.  You are looking for reassurance, but are feeling strongly. My best advice to you would be continue looking for the plastic surgeon who you feel most confident about. Be certain they are board certified, and answer all of the questions and requests you have. Don't be afraid to ask for what will make you feel most comfortable.

Best of luck to you.

Fred Hackney, MD (retired)
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Surgeon Won't Show Before/After Pictures

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You have answered your own question about selecting a surgeon who won't show results in similar noses: MAYBE!  Any experienced rhinoplasty surgeon has permission from many patients to use their pictures when consulting with others considering surgery. Polite is good, excellent surgeon is better.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Before and After Photos

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Ultimately, it is up to you what surgeon you choose, however an experienced surgeon with a good reputation should have an arsenal of before/after pictures from happy patients to share. 


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eligriz, I have plenty of patients who have signed off to allow me to show their photos on my web site or in my office. Not all patients are comfortable with this and the consent must be very specific. See an experienced surgeon that does "only faces" and has plenty of good photos. see the video and good luck!

M. Sean Freeman, MD
Charlotte Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Before and after pictures

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Hello and thank you for your question.  I would be very cautious to undergo rhinoplasty with a surgeon who cannot show you before and after pictures of their own real patients.  Also, a computer simulation picture of your nose is not an adequate substitution for real before and after pictures.    It is very important that you thoroughly research your surgeon before committing to surgery. It is a good idea to research your surgeon's educational background, online reviews, before & after pictures, and speak with anyone who you may know who has had surgery with that surgeon.

My best recommendation is to seek a second consultation.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 173 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.