As part of everyone’s research (or virtually everyone), prior to seeing me for a consultation, they will have inevitably been on the Internet looking at before and after images. These may be from my personal gallery on my website (www.beforeandafterimages.co.uk) but it is also likely they will have looked at many other examples far and wide. This often leads them to find pictures that they very much like the look of (the “afters”, that is), and it can be incredibly helpful and valuable in understanding and learning about the procedure they may be interested in.
However, what often comes up during the consultation process is the fact that the after pictures that the patient very much likes and would like to look like would actually not be possible to achieve in their case – this is often because the before photograph they have looked at bears no resemblance to themselves. This can be looking at breasts, abdomens, facelifts or more.
Therefore during part of the consultation, after I have examined the patient (so I have a thorough understanding of their appearance), we then go on to look at before and after photograph examples together. One of the key things I point out to them is how to identify features within the photographs we are looking at that have a resemblance to themselves. Following the consultation if someone goes back onto the internet to have further searches for before and after photographs they are then far better equipped to understand what might be achievable in their situation and what is not.
Therefore the key tip before starting to browse any before and after photographs is to have an understanding of your own breasts, body or face. This can be very difficult to do objectively as we inevitably only see ourselves in the mirror and, much like listening to our voice being played back on an answerphone message when it does not sound the same as how we hear ourselves, looking at yourself in very objective medical photographs can almost be like looking at someone else – it is not the same as looking at ourselves in the mirror.
As a result my suggestion would be to take some photographs of yourself, or have your partner take some photographs, that are comparable to clinical photographs (in terms of positioning and style) to those that you see in plastic surgeons’ websites and only then can you start to identify people who have similar features to yourself in the before photographs.
Only the similar before photographs should really be then looked at to decide whether or not the results achieved meet your satisfaction. This, of course, means that part of the research of the before and after photographs is very much just finding the befores that really do look like you, and only by doing that can it be possible to understand what might be achievable.
I hope this short blog post is useful and helpful and good luck in your research!