Asked to See Pre & Post Op Pictures, She Said to Just Look Online? (photo)

I had a consultation for explantation without replacement. It went well. The doctor answered my questions. She did not recommend a breast lift. I asked to see pictures of patients that she had performed this surgery on. She said O.K. The office staff told me they needed patients permission & would email pics to me. Then told still checking & I should go online to find pics. I'm asking for hers!! Is this common? Do Plastic Surgeons typically show photos of surgeries done? Am I asking too much?

Doctor Answers 9

Phots pre op

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I think it is ok to ask a doctor to see their pre and post op photos.Also when I was a resident my chairman would say toa patient do you want to see the good ones or bad the idea being with any surgery there can be complications.So do your homework. 

Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Explant photos...asking too much?

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It is definitely not asking too much to request photos of your surgeon, but I would agree that simple explanation is a relatively uncommon procedure in most breast practices, even busy breast practices.  It is definitely becoming more and more common in my practice for a number of reasons...1. There are now many women out there who have had their implants for upwards of 30 years, who's bodies have changed dramatically since they underwent augmentation.  2. These women now have unlimited access to photos and info on the internet (great sites like real self) so they are seeing that they CAN look and feel better with surgery.  
There are so many options for women like yourself.  I would venture to say that you will be very happy with explanation.  I agree with simple explanation first, to allow the breasts to "recover".  My patients (and I!) are often pleasantly surprised by how well their breasts often do.

Mary Gingrass, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Asked to See Pre & Post Op Pictures, She Said to Just Look Online?

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I have a pretty large practice that is largely breast surgery. I do only a small number of simple explantations. Unlike breast enlargement where results are quite predictable, explantations are very unpredictable in terms of outcome. So looking at someone's "best" photos would not be helpful. I have many enlargement photos, very few explant photos. 

I agree with not doing a lift at the time of explant, but I would expect that you might want to consider one in six months after seeing how much shrinkage of the skin has occurred. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Photos and surgery

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Patients do not always allow a surgeon to show their photos. Explantation is a fairly straightforward procedure except to predict how the breasts will respond to the removal will vary from one patient to the next.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast implant removal pictures

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Most plastic surgeons, myself included are probably not going to have pictures of the procedure that you are considering because it is not that common and it is not the type of procedure that most surgeons are promoting.  I think the your main concern is what the breasts are going to look like after explants, and whether you are going to be happy with the result and you may need a second surgery/ breast lift in 3- 6 months if you are not happy with the look.

Adrian Lo, MD

Adrian Lo, MD
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Before and after pictures

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most Plastic asurgeons will show before and after pictures once the patient schedules for surgery, or serious about  schedueling surgery.

there are other issues, the physician needs to obtain medical release to show the pictures.  One may have done hundreds of cases and patients may not have given their permission to show pictures, publish pictures therefore the physician cannot show them.

There are some simple procedures that I do not take pictures of or the patient may not come back in appropriate time to take post op pictures.

remember pictures and computer imaging are only means of communication with the patient not a quarantee of results. We tebd to show pictures of our best results.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Do your due diligence

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You should be able to see photos of cases which are similar to yours so you can fully understand what aesthetic changes may result.  Be candid with your PS consultant, divulging your health history, motives for removal as well as your aesthetic expectations. 

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Breast Implant Photos

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Plastic surgeons who have significant experience generally do show some photos of their work to other patients. We do indeed need to have permission of the patients whose photos we show. In my practice I have a book which has all of the standard type of photographs such as facelift, liposuction, breast implant, breast lift and others. Breast Implant removal however is not a standard or popular procedure. Especially when the implants are removed without replacement it very much depends on how much breast tissue you have and how much ptosis or sagging you might expect. Since this is so different for each patient and not as frequently performed a procedure the surgeon may not not have readily available photos even if they are quite experienced. I personally do not show photos to my patients that will not be similar to them. Please check to see that your doc is board certified in Plastic Surgery and be sure she has significant experience in this procedure. Remember, since most patients love their implants no surgeon has a large volume of removals without replacement.

Patient photos and consent

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In order to show patient photographs, those patients must consent to have their pictures shared. This is true for internet photos used for education or marketing as well as for internal office use with prospective patients. For certain procedures (particularly facial cosmetic procedures), many patients will not sign a photo consent to share their pictures. This is very true in certain communities where people may be recognized. Explantation of implants is straightforward and if you are looking for before and after, the ASPS at has a wonderful photo gallery of examples.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.