Evaluating before and after pictures of breast augmentation patients Introduction Females are very conscious when it comes to their body image. When their body features are not in harmony with modern beauty standards, most women experience self-esteem issues. The breasts play an important part in defining a woman’s physical beauty, femininity, and body definition. The current beauty benchmarks admire women with bigger and prominent breasts. But not all women get more prominent and fuller breasts naturally. Many women rely on breast augmentation surgery to add volume and projection to their breasts. Breast augmentation is a major plastic surgery procedure. As such, patients are advised to undergo surgery after thorough deliberation. One of the most critical aspects of breast augmentation surgery is the selection of the plastic surgeon to do the operation. During the pre-operative consultation, you must ask the surgeon to show you before and after pictures of breast augmentation patients that he has treated in the past. Evaluating before surgery pictures As mentioned above, breast augmentation is a major and invasive procedure. Patients are advised to choose their plastic surgeons very carefully. The pre-operative consultation session is your best opportunity to vet the surgeon and know whether he has the capability, qualification, and skills to deliver you the desired outcomes. One of the most important things you can do to get an idea about the surgeon’s skills and experience is to look at before and after pictures of patients he has treated in the past for breast augmentation. It is essential to critically evaluate the images and analyze the findings against your aesthetic goals and the cosmetic flaws in your breasts. When evaluating the before and after pictures of breast augmentation patients, it is essential to keep the following factors in view: – Aesthetic flaws and size of the breasts in the before surgery picture – Cosmetic improvements and size of the breasts in the after surgery picture – Breast dimensions of the patient – Height and weight of the patient – Patient’s body outline Keep in mind that each woman has a unique and different body outline and anatomy. The height, weight, and breast dimensions also differ from patient to patient. Furthermore, the specific aesthetic shortcomings in the breasts and the aesthetic goals and expectations of each patient can be different. Breast augmentation surgery is performed in light of the factors mentioned above. What this means is that the results of the procedure depend on these factors and it can be different for different patients. But still, evaluating the before and after pictures can give you a broad idea of whether the surgeon is competent enough to help treat the aesthetic flaws in your breasts. It is crucial for you to ensure that the before the surgery image in which the patient’s breast dimensions, aesthetic flaws, body anatomy, etc. are as close to your breast dimensions, aesthetic shortcoming, and body outline as possible. When this happens, it will give you a better perspective of what to expect and help you choose your plastic surgeon more judiciously. What type of breast augmentation procedure is right for you depends on your aesthetic goals and the cosmetic flaws that exist in your breasts. When evaluating before the surgery pictures, you should ask the doctor as to what type of procedure was recommended for the patient and why. When evaluating the before the surgery picture, you should take a look at the patient’s body areas where excess fat was available. You can also ask the surgeon to help you identify the fat donor sites of the patient. After identifying those places, you can then see those specific body areas in the after the surgery picture and notice the changes. Evaluating after the surgery pictures The post-surgery picture of the patient is as important as the pre-surgery picture. In fact, you should analyze both photographs and try to deduce what improvements have been achieved. When checking photos after the breast augmentation surgery, you should explicitly check for the following factors: – To what extent has the breast size increased? – How much volume has been added to the breasts? – Is the projection sufficient enough? – Does the new size of the breasts accentuate the patient’s body outline? – Do the breasts appear natural? – Do the breasts look normal and a part of an extension of the patient’s body? – How do the scars appear? At this point, it is also important to ask the surgeon about the goals of the patient and whether implants or fat transfer was used to deliver those results. Keep in mind that there are two types of breast augmentation procedures and both of them address different aesthetic shortcomings in the breasts. Implants are used to increase the size of smaller breasts, making them fuller, prominent, and voluminous. Implants are artificial devices that are put inside the breasts through incisions and come in different sizes. When evaluating the post-surgery pictures, ask the surgeon what size of implant was used. The surgeon’s answer will give you an idea about the implant size suitable for you. Breast implant surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The plastic surgeon will place incisions on the breasts and then insert and position them before the incisions are sutured and closed. The length of the incision depends on the size of implant. When evaluating the after pictures, it is essential to look for the appearance of the scars. The incisions will ultimately develop into scars and in some cases, the scars may be large or look abnormal. It is vital for the patient to evaluate the scars in the after surgery picture. If the scars are more visible, you can ask the surgeon why it is so and what could have been done to prevent the condition. Ideally, the new size of the breasts after the surgery must be in tune with the patient’s body outline, height, and weight. It is vital for you to look at this factor when evaluating the after pictures. You should critically look at the improvements achieved and their harmony with the patient’s other physical features. The breasts should appear normal and as natural as possible. When it comes to fat transfer, the results are more natural and the operation is relatively safer. The procedure uses the excess fat in your body to deliver the desired improvements. Fat transfer is recommended for patients who want to have shapelier and mildly projected breasts rather than large and voluminous breasts that can be achieved with implants. Fat transfer involves three essential steps: fat removal, fat processing, and fat grafting. The operation starts with the removal of the fat from different areas of the body, such as the abdomen, sides, and flanks. When evaluating the after picture, you should look for the changes in the fat donor sites. What improvements have been achieved in those areas? Have the aesthetic features of the fat donor sites improved? Has the size of the abdomen been reduced? Do the fat donor sites look correctly contoured? The plastic surgeon uses liposuction to remove the fat from the fat donor sites. Liposuction involves tiny incisions. While evaluating after surgery pictures, it is also critical to check how the resulting scars appear. If the scars are large or more visible, you can ask the surgeon the reason for it. After removing the fat, the surgeon will carefully process it and then inject it in the breasts. The doctor uses a special needle to inject the fat in the breasts. Keep in mind that fat transfer does not involve incisions on the breasts. It means there will be no large scars; however, the breasts will be swollen for a few days or weeks after the surgery. If the after surgery picture was taken during this period, the breasts will appear somehow swollen. You can ask the surgeon when the photo was taken and how much time it took for the swelling to disappear. The results of fat transfer take many weeks and even months to appear. The after surgery picture should show the specific improvements that have been achieved over time. If the breasts have become shapelier and mildly projected and the aesthetic results accentuate the patient’s other body features, it means the surgeon is experienced and skilled. Conclusion If you are considering undergoing breast augmentation, you must select the plastic surgeon carefully. One of the effective ways to get an idea about the surgeon’s experience and skills is by evaluating before and after pictures of the doctor’s past patients. Most patients don’t know how to assess the before and after pictures critically. In this article, I have explained how breast augmentation patients can assess before and after photos of the surgeon’s previous patients.