If you’ve been considering getting cosmetic surgery, either for cosmetic reasons or for reconstructive purposes, you probably have some idea of what you want to look like post-surgery. The most obvious way to communicate that picture to your surgeon is to find before and after photos of someone who’s undergone the same procedure. But you can’t pick just any photo. Here’s a look at how to find the right before and after pictures to bring to your consultation.

Just Your Type

woman in kitchen on tabletTo achieve the best results, it’s crucial to find photos of a patient who has your same body type, is in the same age range, and is the same gender. If you bring in a photo of a famous pair of lips (like Scarlett Johansson, for example) you may get the same volume, but if you’re closer to 60 than 30, you won’t get the same overall effect. Patients will be happier with their results if they find a before/after photo with someone who has a similar face or body shape. Otherwise they’re setting themselves up for disappointment (and potential miscommunication with their doctor).

Look Closely

In an age of photo manipulation, people have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. Some less reputable doctor’s offices may subtly manipulate before/after photos to make the after photo look better. Different lighting, head positioning, posture, and other factors can make a surgery look more successful than it really was. When looking at before/after pictures, scroll through galleries of reputable, board-certified surgeons, and inspect the pictures carefully for signs of manipulation.

Deciding to undergo plastic surgery is not a decision to be taken lightly. Before scheduling any cosmetic surgery, arrange for a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Woman on Tablet