Before and After Photos


Before and after plastic surgery photos are helpful tools that patients can use to determine whether a particular cosmetic procedure would be appropriate for their specific aesthetic goals. However, when looking at this type of photo array it is important to know what to look for, and to understand how to critically evaluate this type of photograph in order to maximize the benefit from this experience.


By demonstrating what procedures the surgeon recommends for each patient, “before” pictures provide key insights as to how the plastic surgeon’s mind works and can demonstrate whether your aesthetic sensibilities are compatible with that particular doctor. It may be helpful to collect a group of “before” photographs where the patient is similar to yourself in terms of body type, skin tone, age, and aesthetic features.

From within this group of patients, select both the results you like, and the results you are not fond of, and bring these pictures with you to your initial consultation, so that your plastic surgeon can get a more comprehensive understand of your aesthetic preferences and goals.


In order to successfully evaluate an “after” photo, there are a number of elements you can examine:

  • Do you find the “after” result naturally beautiful? Would you like this result for yourself?
  • Are the results symmetrical, or do they at least demonstrate an improvement in the level of symmetry?
  • Are the scars neat and as inconspicuous as possible?
  • Do the results reflect the unique features of each patient’s anatomy, showing that the surgeon has adapted his/her technique as necessary, or is there a generic “cookie-cutter” appearance to all of the photos?
  • Were you able to confirm that all of the photos were of patients who had surgery performed by the plastic surgeon him/herself, or were they sample photos provided by the manufacturer of a particular surgical treatment or device to be used for marketing purposes?

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Contact Us Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts

South Riding Professional Square
25055 Riding Plaza, Suite #140
Chantilly, VA 20152
TEL: 703.327.8200