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Why we don't do "before and after" pictures

Posted by Dr Ash Dutta on 24 July 2019

We are often asked for ‘before and after’ pictures as examples of our work – but we don’t do them. Dr Ash Dutta, cosmetic surgeon at Aesthetic Beauty Centre, explains why not, and why you should treat them with caution.

Everyone has seen the before and after pictures that appear in adverts for health, beauty and – most often – weight loss products.

The idea is simple: you show what a person looked like before they started using a certain product, or attending classes, or undergoing a procedure, and then you show an ‘improved’ version of the same person after a certain period of time.

While we can’t deny that ‘before and after’ pictures are an effective marketing tool, there are lots of reasons that we prefer not to use them. We believe that they are inappropriate for the cosmetic surgery sector and that you should always treat them with caution. Let us explain!

Before and after pictures aren’t always trustworthy

You may have heard the phrase ‘Instagram vs reality’: it’s the idea that people’s selfies on social media, especially the likes of Instagram and Snapchat, bear little resemblance to reality, because they use heavy filters and flattering angles.

The same principle applies to before and after pictures. The ‘before’ image always shows people in poor light, looking miserable, standing with incorrect posture and with no filter, while the ‘after’ shot has them in a flattering light, standing correctly, wearing better clothes and smiling!

It has even been shown that you can take vastly different before and after pictures that have actually been taken JUST A FEW MINUTES APART – you can read more on this link, where a blogger shows how easy it is to mislead people using simple photography tricks.

They can’t offer guarantees

Even if people used no photography tricks whatsoever in their before and after pictures, these images cannot guarantee what your results will be. Speak to a surgeon and they will give you an idea of what sort of results you can expect, based on the size and scale of the work being carried out.

Cosmetic surgery is too personal for before and after pictures to work

Everyone is different, and everyone’s results are different – nobody should be considering a serious procedure based on looking at someone else’s face and body. It should be right for you, and you alone.

Again, find a good surgeon and speak to them about what you want to achieve and what you are considering having done. They should be able to offer a range options that suit your specific needs.

On a forthcoming blog we will look at how to choose a cosmetic surgeon and the questions you should ask them while considering cosmetic surgery. In the meantime, to discuss any of the above or to have an informal chat about your options for any of our surgeries or treatments, you can contact us here.