What To Look For In Cosmetic Surgery Before And After Photos

Written By
Shawn Trumpfeller
Upload on
February 15, 2023

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic surgery procedure worldwide. When deciding who’s the best plastic surgeon for you and reviewing photos, how do you know what to look for in cosmetic surgery before and after photos?

There are certain things that you should look for in order to gain an accurate picture of what the procedure can do for you:

  • Symmetry and proportion of implants
  • Similar body type before surgery
  • Skin quality and proportion of nipple
  • Minimal scarring after surgery
  • Size and shape when the procedure is complete

Breast implants can help to reshape and enhance the appearance of your breasts, as well as give you a look and feel of confidence in everyday life.

If you're considering breast augmentation, it's important to do your research and make sure you understand what to expect from the procedure. One of the best ways to learn about the results of breast augmentation is by looking at before and after photos. Seeing pictures of different women’s experiences can be like windows into your future and an invaluable tool for anyone considering the procedure, allowing them to get a better idea of what the results could look like.

It’s not all equal in before and after land, so here are a few things to look for and why it’s important to scrutinize what you see:

What are signs of a skilled plastic surgeon?

Looking at images of a plastic surgeon won't reveal everything about them, but you can spot their best work by:

  1. After surgery, symmetry is preserved or even improved. The two pillars of beauty, symmetry and proportion, are what a professional plastic surgeon will focus on when performing her procedures. There are some asymmetries that cannot be completely fixed, but you should see a change in the proper direction.
  2. The scars are discrete, thin, and hidden. If you're looking at examples of nude people, you'll probably see the scars that every procedure left behind. If the patient is wearing underwear in the images, it should be clear that the surgeon positioned incisions strategically so that undergarments would cover them as much as possible. A well-placed, properly healed scar will not "pop out" at you.
  3. Many of the individuals you see following surgery appear natural. A patient who undergoes plastic surgery with skill looks more like a better version of him or herself.

Potential issues with a cosmetic photo gallery

  1. Results are identical. Even if every patient has had fantastic results, if they all appear to have had comparable before and after results, you may have discovered a one-trick pony. The most talented plastic surgeons will be able to customize outcomes to a patient's proportions and intended outcome while still producing stunning results for a variety of body shapes, sizes, and ages.
  2. The before and after photographs have different lighting, poses, zoom effects, and other photographic elements. Results can appear better or worse than they actually are depending on the patient's stance (for example, smiling in the after photo while frowning in the before photo). Rarely will doctors employ these techniques to mask subpar results; frequently, it's just poor photography. Despite these inconsistencies, you shouldn't simply write off a surgeon; instead, give the outcomes the proper amount of attention.
  3. Everything appears to be too perfect. While plastic surgeons like to show off their greatest work, we also want patients to have a realistic expectation of the results of their procedures. Personally, I'd place more trust in a photo collection where the majority of the outcomes appear fantastic but some highlight the difficulties a patient's anatomy presents.
  4. Scars are noticeable and bright red. This can be unflattering in a picture and indicates that the "after" pictures were shot too soon after the operation. Ask the plastic surgeon to show you after images of patients at least six months after their treatments if you like the outcomes other than the scarring.

While browsing internet before and after pictures is a terrific place to start your search for the ideal surgeon, nothing can replace a face-to-face consultation.

What to look for in before and after plastic surgery images?

  1. Focus on patients who look like you
  2. Look for consistent patient poses, but not “cookie cutter” results
  3. Symmetry should be improved or maintained by cosmetic surgery
  4. Scars should be strategically placed
  5. Recognize new vs. final results
  6. Lighting
  7. View online before and after photos and at your cosmetic surgery consultation

Begin with”before” images and body types that look similar to you

The best before and after photos demonstrate the skill of the plastic surgeon, while also showing off the unique beauty of each patient, including you. So, when looking at before and after pictures, make sure you find someone who has similar body characteristics before breast augmentation surgery as yours.

Celebrate that body type and appreciate how their results could turn out for you too! By looking through photos of similar body types and frame sizes, you’ll be able to see how different body types respond to the procedure - and which types of breast implants may be more suitable for your own.

It’s important to remember that every woman is beautiful in her own right and no one should feel pressure to conform perfectly to a certain look or ideal.

With breast augmentation, you can absolutely achieve natural-looking results that bring out your best features without sacrificing comfort or safety.

Recognize new results from final results

A month or two after surgery, for example, is when some cosmetic doctors take "after" pictures. Unfortunately, these early after photos can give the appearance of mediocre outcomes even if the patient's actual results are still in the process of developing. Several warning flags of too-new results include:

  1. Glaring scars that are still bright red or pink
  2. After breast augmentation or breast lift with implants, breasts rest unnaturally high on the chest.
  3. Visible edema, swelling, asymmetry, or skin discoloration

Ask the surgeon when the patients' images were shot if you appreciate a lot of the surgeon's work but think a lot of the before and after photos appear to be "too new." The best way to predict a patient's ultimate results is typically to look at "after" pictures taken six months or more following surgery.

Symmetry and proportion of implants

When looking at before and after pictures of breast augmentation surgery, it’s important to pay attention to more than just the size of the breasts. Look for symmetry between the two sides, whether or not they appear balanced and if there are any visible scars from incisions. Breast asymmetry refers to when breasts are uneven or noticeably difference.

Are the nipples in line with one another? Does one side appear higher than the other? Do the nipples look too close together or too far apart? To make the most of these visual resources, take a moment to notice all of the elements that should be in balance or centered. These are all essential elements that need to be taken into consideration when evaluating before and after photos of breast augmentation surgery.

Pay attention to all the small details so you can get an accurate picture of what your outcome might look like.

Skin quality and proportions

Depending on your desired outcome, your focus should be on subtle changes in the nipples after surgery. If your goal of breast augmentation is to subtly enhance the size and shape of your breasts rather than dramatically alter their appearance, it makes sense to notice the small changes.

Look for any changes in the size or shape of the nipple, as well as changes to the texture and color of the skin surrounding it. Also, where are they positioned? Are they too close together?

It may not appear dramatically different, but these small details can make a large difference in achieving optimal results for you, especially in the long run.

Look for minimal scarring in cosmetic surgery results

This  surgery can provide dramatic transformation results if that’s what you’re after, but it’s important to look for the right signs when viewing before and after photos. To start, you should look at whether the incision placement is well-hidden - this could be in the crease beneath the breast, like with an inflammatory incision, or in the armpit.

Additionally, using a tissue expander implant can help reduce scarring from breast augmentation procedures, as it allows for less surgical trauma to the surrounding areas of the body. You can ask during your consultation with your surgeon if they use this piece of equipment as well.

The use of modern techniques and technologies can also reduce scarring during a breast augmentation, allowing for a more natural-looking aesthetic and minimal visible scarring.

If done correctly, quality before and after photos should show that any scars are minimal and virtually invisible once healed.

Size and shape when the procedure is complete

This is the payoff point. How are they, and by extension, you, going to look when all is said and done?

When examining the breasts, observe their size, shape, and symmetry. Note the presence of any lumps or changes in size, shape, or contour and how much fuller and firmer they look after surgery.

Assess the consistency and texture of the breast tissue to make sure that everything matches up as expected. Be aware of any dimpling, puckering, or redness of the skin—all of which can indicate an infection or other serious complications from surgery.

Finally, remember that everyone’s body responds differently so results will vary depending on how your body responds to the surgery.

In conclusion

There’s no arguing this one: when it comes to considering breast augmentation surgery, one of the best ways to get an idea of the potential outcome is to look at before and after photos.

When looking, it’s important to pay attention to the symmetry and proportion, size and shape of the breasts, skin quality and position of the nipple, as well as any scarring from surgery. Additionally, it’s important to try to find before and after photos of a model that has a similar body type to yours so that you can more accurately gauge what your results might look like.

Keeping these things in mind can give you much insight into how a particular surgeon has performed in the past and whether or not you are likely to be happy with their work. And remember, your surgeon should also be able to provide you with plenty of examples from their implant surgery patients who had similar goals and expectations as you, so don’t hesitate to ask!

Here at SixSurgery, we’re all board certified and rigorously trained surgeons who have your best interests at heart.