The “Why” of Before & After Photos
By: Liz Burgess
Do I Really Have to Have My Picture Taken? It’s the question we get asked most often when people come to us for a consultation. From family photos to capturing those precious memories like births, graduations vacations & weddings its common to have real anxiety over having our picture taken. And here at Centre for Plastic Surgery, we ask the unimaginable. After you reveal your single most bothersome figure flaw to us, we ask you to step in front of the camera so we can document it. Now that is a rare form of torture! But, we really don’t do it to torment you. Before and after photos are just an essential part of your plastic surgery journey.
First and foremost, they are used as a planning tool for your surgeon both before your surgery and throughout your recovery. It’s so very helpful to be able to review where you started and how you’ve progressed to help ensure the best outcome possible for you. Secondly, believe it or not, most of our patients end up grateful they elected to have their photos taken so that they can compare their before photos to the photos taken at the end of their recovery. There is nothing more gratifying to our patients than to see that their investment (both in money and time) was worth well worth it! In fact, I can’t tell you how often we have patients that are so excited about their outcome that they grant us the great privilege of being able to share their photos with our other patients. It’s so fun for us to see our patients become confident about an area that has caused them so much heartache for so long.
With all of that said, no one is more understanding of the necessity of maintaining complete confidentiality and privacy throughout your entire plastic surgery journey than we are. Your photos (and all other encounters with us, for that matter) are a part of your private medical record, which means that we go to great measures to ensure that any and all of that information is never ever shared outside of our office. As I mentioned before, the exception to that being those instances in which patients are so pleased with their results that they agree to allow us to share their photos with other patients that are considering a procedure. In those cases, patients have to provide express written consent for us to do so. And, it’s usually with the understanding that we do everything we can to continue to protect their identity (i.e.. making sure that we do not share their face whenever possible and of course never ever sharing names).
So, in short, we get it. We completely understand that the photo taking part of your journey with us can believe it or not, sometimes be the most difficult step. Just know that we only do it because we really feel that it is absolutely necessary in ensuring the best result we can achieve and we will take every step possible to make you feel comfortable through that process.