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Summary: Since everyone has different plastic surgery desires and goals, finding the right plastic surgeon is more challenging than you’d think. A lot of the proof lies within a plastic surgeons before and after photo gallery. These 4 tips will help you make your judgments.

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted breast implants. I’ve always been insecure about my small chest, and it has plagued me for most of my life. Recently, I decided to take it seriously and start looking into plastic surgeons in my area. The only problem: where to start?

I quickly realized that narrowing down my list of potential plastic surgeons was going to be a lot of work. There are many different factors to take into consideration. What I learned right away, though, was one thing to look for on a surgeon’s website is his or her photo gallery. For a patient, this is the best way to see some of the surgeon’s past work and decide if that surgeon has demonstrated an ability to create the look that you desire.

However, not all photo galleries are the same. What are the best things to look for when analyzing a photo gallery? Here, I’ve gathered 4 tips that have proven helpful along the way.

1. A Variety of Body Types

No two body types are alike, which is why it’s so important to make sure that the practice provides examples of several different body types. What may look good on one person may not fit your frame. When Googling plastic surgery photo galleries, I started my research with The American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ website. It was amazing to see how many different shapes, sizes, and body types they feature in their photo gallery. It made it easier for me to gain a better understanding of what I’m looking for in my breast augmentation, and what is likely look best on my body type. Make sure to keep an eye out for patients whose frame, age, and features are close to your own, because when it comes to plastic surgery, one size does not fit all.

2. Practice Provides Explanations

Aside from the photo itself, it is just as important that a surgeon includes information about the patient and the procedure. Age, height and weight, and details about the procedure are descriptions to look for when analyzing a photo gallery. That way, the specifics can help you to understand the procedure more clearly and possibly help narrow down exactly what you’re looking for.

3. Variety of Outcomes

Just as you want to see a variety of body types represented, you also want to see diversity in the results a surgeon achieves. For example, if you notice that a surgeon’s rhinoplasty patients all end up with the same nose, it is probably time to look elsewhere. A range of different (but good) outcomes is a great indication that the surgeon has an ability to adjust his or her techniques to meet the individual needs of each patient.

4. Matching Before-and-After Galleries

One of the most important features of a plastic surgeon’s photo gallery is the opportunity to compare the “before” to the “after.” Before-and-after photos tell the story of a surgeon’s work better than anything else. However, it’s crucial that you know what you’re looking at and what you’re looking for. Are the photos taken in consistent lighting? Adjusting the lighting can enhance the appearance of the results from subtle to dramatic, and can camouflage flaws. Is the subject standing in the same pose in both photos? Different poses can be more flattering, and can easily conceal imperfections and scars.

You may have to spend some time searching for a gallery that meets all of these criteria, like this one from a Marietta, GA practice called Plastic Surgery Center of the South. Their gallery provides all of the elements noted above, plus plenty of helpful information to help you make an informed decision. Once you find a gallery that you love, bookmark it! Use the photos to help determine the look that you want, and don’t hesitate to share these findings with your surgeon.

Don’t be afraid to really critique a surgeon’s gallery. There are plenty of great plastic surgeons out there, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than exactly the look you want.

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