It has become an accepted fact in our society that most images presented to us in the media have been subject to some kind of editing and manipulation. Because of this, many people have unrealistic body expectations for themselves and for others. One of the few exceptions to this acknowledgement of photo manipulation is the “before and after” photos often used on plastic surgeons’ web sites as examples of their work. Part of the implied trust between doctor and patient is that these photos have not been manipulated, and that they give a clear representation of some results the doctor has achieved.
Unfortunately, reality is usually not quite as simple as that. Before you consider a rhinoplasty or any other type of surgery, you should learn how to properly evaluate before and after photos so they can help inform you of a surgeon’s skill rather than deceive you. While most surgeons post honest, helpful photos, you should still approach before and after photos with some amount of skepticism. Rhinoplasty is a complex surgery, and picking your surgeon is the most important decision you’ll make regarding your surgery. You can help inform your decision by understanding what makes a good or bad before and after photo.
Good before and after photos are as consistent as possible. They should be taken under similar lighting. Beware of tricks such as taking photos from significantly differentdistances. This can skew the look of the face and be very deceptive for analyzing the actual results of the rhinoplasty.
Make sure you see photos of patients from different angles. You want to be sure that the surgeon can obtain a successful outcome for both the front and side profile views. Your priorities will be different depending on your goal for surgery, but a skilled surgeon will make the nose look good from all angles. The so-called three quarter view is also very informative.
While most surgeons honor the trust of their patients and prospective patients, you cannot rule out the possibility that a before and after photo you are analyzing has been retouched with a digital editing program such as Photoshop. While some people are masters at convincingly altering photos, it’s also often possible to tell when a photo has been altered. Look for these signs.
- Inconsistent lighting (from the rest of the photo)
- Strange placement of facial features
- Rough edges
Keep Variation in Mind
Everybody is different, and you may not see any patients among the photos that resemble you. Of course, it is ideal to see how a prospective surgeon’s results look like on a face similar to yours; but variation also allows you to see how successful the surgeon is at consistently creating a custom nose that harmonizes with the other facial features. Ask yourself if you think the rhinoplasty results are generally natural, no matter what kind of variation you see.
Do You Like What You See?
Do the results look natural? Does every nose look similar (beware of surgeons who perform “cookie cutter” rhinoplasties)? Is the surgeon skilled in making both the front and profile views attractive? Be honest about how the results strike you, and don’t waste your time consulting with surgeons whose results fall flat for you. Obviously, if you’re not impressed with a surgeon’s rhinoplasty photos, it’s probably time to move on and explore other options.
In order to post before and after photos on their websites, surgeons must obtain photo use waivers from the patients depicted. Sometimes, patients consent only to have the photos stored in their confidential file. An experienced surgeon should be able to put up enough photos to give you an idea of the quality of his/her work.
A Surgeon You Can Trust
Unfortunately, you cannot get a complete picture of a surgeon’s skill simply by analyzing before and after photos. Some photos may be posted to illustrate a specific point, and you may not like those particular photos. It is important to dig a little deeper and consider other factors such as experience, credentials, testimony, and compassion. Dr. Stuart Bentkoverof Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery offers honest advice and top-notch rhinoplasty services in the Boston and Worcester areas in Massachusetts. To see some of Dr. Bentkover’s before and after photos, visit http://www.bostonrhinoplastycenter.com/before-after-photos/. His posted photos are a very honest representation of his work and are never altered. Dr. Bentkover is also the current 1st place winner in the Ellman International Before & After Contest for a skin tightening procedure he performs called Pellevé. To learn more about how Dr. Bentkover could help you get the nose you’ve always wanted, contact Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery in Worcester(508-363-6500) or Stoneham(617-247-0033), Massachusetts to schedule your consultation.