How important are before and after pics?

I'm looking to have a breast augmentation in the next couple months. I'm a 32a/b and looking for a small increase, probably around 275cc, as I've liked that look the best. Just wondering how much stock I should put into before-after pics. Is that indicative of a surgeons "style" and/or skill, or is it probably more about the girls preference, and any experienced, board certified surgeon should be able to give similar results, dependent on the girl's wants. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 16

Photos Are Only a Part of the Puzzle

Hello,To be honest, photos are becoming less important and less reliable as technology progresses. I wonder if it's time to go back to Kodachrome slides giving us an image that is truly accurate and that has not been Photoshopped. But beyond that dilemma, I think that a combination of certification with the ABPS, membership with the ASAPS, and a reputation for being a great breast surgeon in their town is just as important. In addition, hints that your chosen doctor is a good one: emphasizes tissue based measurements to objectively determine implant sizing, utilizes the inframammary incision almost exclusively based on scientific evidence that it is the 'best' incision, uses only meticulous electrocautery surgery, uses an implant delivery funnel, does not prescribe narcotics for pain (unnecessary), and has you doing overhead arm stretching exercises the day of surgery. Best of luck!


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Are Before & After Photos Important?

Yes. Before and after photos are very important, as they can be an accurate representation of a surgeon’s work. Though photos are second best to a real, in-person result, they are a great way of helping you narrow down your search when looking for a plastic surgeon to perform your procedure. If you have any concerns with the final result of a surgeon's after picture, discuss it with him/her. When looking for a plastic surgeon, not only should you be choosing one who is board certified, but also one who has before and after photos that are in line with your desires and expectations.

Before and after photos

You ask a very interesting question.  I think that photos will give you a representation of the type of work the surgeon performs, so I do think they are important- things like are the breasts more or less symmetric than before surgery?  I there a lot of upper pole fullness or not?  Are there outcomes like the one that you are looking for or are most of the patients ending up with breasts that are larger or smaller than you want.  That said, before and after photos are not the only important thing.  You should make sure that your surgeon is Board Certified.  When you meet with your surgeon, do you feel that you connect with them and that they understand your goals?  What kind of implants do they recommend and why?  What kind of pocket do they use to put the implant in?  What is their re-operation and complication rate?  Most patients who end up in my office tell me that they do so because of a combination of my photos, my reputation, their interaction with my staff when they call, and often a referral from a friend or relative.  At the end of the day you want to make sure that you see a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, that you feel has your best interests at heart, and that can provide you with the outcome that you're looking for.  In Santa Barbara, there are several good surgeons so you have good choices.  Dr. Mackenzie, Dr. Gross, and myself all do things a little differently but I would let either of those other surgeons operate on me or my family.  See who's approach you like best and find a surgeon with whom you are excited about working.Best wishes, Dr. L

Before and after photos

Thanks for your question.  Yes, the photos are an important part of the preoperative evaluation.  These can show you the surgeon's results, as well as allow you to try and find another woman with similar height, weight, and breast size.  While photos are important, they are only part of the process when evaluating your surgeon.  As you pointed out, board certification is very important, but you also want to make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon's personality and demeanor.   You want to make sure they will take the time evaluate you physically, as well as your goals and needs and take the time to answer all your questions.  Good luck. 

Before & After Photos Are Important

Once you've chosen a few surgeons with strong credentials, before-and-after photos of their work can help you further narrow down your selection. What you typically see in an "after" photo is a combination of the surgeon's individual approach and the patient's particular desires. While it's not advisable to base your choice solely on before-and-after photos, they can offer good insight into the results you may expect. 

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

You can't always get what you want!

If you are an A or a B cup, it is likely that putting in a 275 cc implant would be a stretch and likely leave you with very round and firm breasts.   Yes, photos are helpful, but you have to look at photos of women who have a similar frame and breast size to yours.    Be careful, be conservative and you will be very happy!

Before and after pics

Good question.  My recommendation is that you seek care from a board certified plastic surgeon for an in person examination and know that before and after photographs on line can be deceiving.  One's structure, amount of breast tissue, and also age are just a few factors affecting a final result.  Best of luck.

Breast Augmentation

Good Question.  Good results have to do with several factorsSurgeons skill, surgeon judgement, patient desires, patient anatomy.  Hence no one factor determines a good outcome.  I think before and after pictures are very helpful but only if you look at MANY.  It should not be used to find someone like you and see whether or not you like her result.  You should look at the overall work of a surgeon and if you like 80% of the pics than the probably of you being happy is high.  Hope that helps.  Good luck

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Before and After photos

Before and after photos are very important as it provides you the opportunity to see your doctor's work. Please analyze them closely.

Arian Mowlavi, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Pre/Post Photos

Hello,You are correct that many factors contribute to the look of before and afters including patient preference, placement of implant, the anatomy that the patient began with, etc.  Usually you can see implant size and placement info posted along with those photos. Generally, you can get a good idea of the consistency of a surgeon's work if you review enough of their before and after photos. I recommend that you seek "before" photos which you can relate to for breast size and shape and then consider their results. Ultimately, your Plastic Surgeon will make implant recommendations based on your breast measurements and your stated aesthetic goals.
All the best

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.