GUIDE TO ANALYZING BEFORE + AFTER PHOTOS
1. CLEAR PHOTOS.
Given that before and after photos are the single most important way to judge a cosmetic surgeon, I would say a surgeon with little to no pictures is a big warning sign.
Especially if a surgeon has been in practice for 10+ years, it’s quite hard to imagine they wouldn’t have more than a few photographs of their work by that point.
Also look for recency of the pictures, if all of the photos look dated, I’d say that’s another potential warning sign.
2. STANDARDIZATION OF PHOTOS
A huge component of how we (as surgeons in addition to patients) analyze our work, is through documentation of the results visually.
If a surgeon lacks a structured, standardized routine of taking photographs before, during, and then at periodic intervals throughout the healing process – how will he/she be able to analyze their own results and grow as a surgeon?
3. MULTIPLE ANGLES FOR EACH PATIENT
This is a big one for me.
Often I see surgeons posting 1 angle, such as just the profile or just the 3/4 view. Getting one view – especially the profile – can be orders of magnitude easier than getting the three dimensional result to look good.
Insist on seeing multiple views for each patient, in particular so you can learn how each style can look from different angles.
This is also a warning I give patients who occasionally bring me a single photo from a person on Instagram and they tell me they like that style. However, the problem is you need to know what that nose will look like from other angles to truly be able to judge if it is right for your face.
4. DIFFERENT STYLE NOSES
Noses are literally like fingerprints. No two are the same.
However, similarities do help us assess what types of changes or what techniques specifically will work well in different patients.
Having a wide variety of before and after photos of types of noses will give you a good idea as to the versatility and breadth of skills of the surgeon.
5. TIME BETWEEN BEFORE + AFTER
This might be the least important single variable on this list.
Part of this is due to the tremendous variability in how noses will look at certain times. It’s very hard to infer from a single snapshot in time.
Some noses will look good at 1 month or 3 months and stay like that, others might change for the worse. Still other noses might not look their best at 6 months even and rarely up to 1 year later they can still be evolving.
Either way, you do want some sense of the long term results, so avoid surgeons who say only post photos from during the surgery or in the short term recovery period.