Dr. Kirby's Blog

5 Things to Look for in a Plastic Surgeon’s Before & After Galleries

Young woman Browsing Plastic Surgeons Before and After GalleriesBefore and after photos serve as a portfolio of a plastic surgeon’s work. They can give you an idea of the results you can expect, and they can be fun and inspiring! While no plastic surgeon is perfect, you should generally like the aesthetic work featured in their gallery—and ideally you should not see certain red flags.

Here are 5 things to look for in a plastic surgeon’s before and after gallery:

Patients who look like you in their “before” images

When navigating a plastic surgeon’s before and after gallery, try to find patients who look similar to you in their “before” photos. This will help you better understand the surgeon’s skills when it comes to delivering the results you seek; it can also help you know if your goals are realistic. Be sure to take note of the results you like best, as this information will help your surgeon better understand your aesthetic vision.

Ask any plastic surgeon with whom you have a formal consultation to pick out results that specifically relate to you.

Consistent views, positioning, and lighting

Before and after photos should show patients in the same pose, as a different pose can exaggerate the effects of a procedure, or be used to obscure a less-than-flattering result. At Kirby Plastic Surgery, our before and after gallery features industry-standard side, front, back (if relevant), and 45° views of our patients.

Photos should also use adequate and consistent lighting to showcase results. Different lighting (or worse: photo filters) can make sub-par results look better than they actually do. Consistently excellent patient photo lighting also shows professionalism and care on the part of the practice, both of which are important!

Dr. Kirby Mommy Makeover Before and After
This 47 year-old patient underwent a full tummy tuck to tighten her separated abdominal muscles and to remove excess tissue. Dr. Kirby also performed liposuction on her flanks to contour her hips. Notice how she is in the same position in her before and after photos, with consistent lighting.

Consistent, symmetrical, and natural-looking results

When comparing “before” and “after” images, you should see that the results look reasonably and attractively symmetrical from side to side, and check that new asymmetries were not created in the surgical process. Ask yourself, did the surgery help this patient look better and feel more confident about their appearance?

While examining results, keep in mind that everyone has some existing body asymmetry before surgery, and “after” photos can capture slight asymmetries that are not easily noticed in person. A plastic surgeon may also choose to maintain certain asymmetries that are a distinctive part of the patient’s appearance in order to retain a natural, characteristic look. A skilled plastic surgeon will consider your unique anatomy to provide results that appear both natural and balanced, helping you achieve your goals.

Proven skill with a range of procedures and patients

Look for a before and after gallery that showcases many different body types and concerns successfully treated, as this signals that the surgeon is capable of delivering beautiful results across a range of patients. You should also look for a surgeon whose approach varies to suit each of their patient’s individual needs: if you see “cookie-cutter” results, especially in breast and facial surgery procedures, it can be indicative of a surgeon not tuning in to individual patient needs.

Even if you are only interested in having one specific surgery, like a tummy tuck, it is still helpful to find a surgeon who is skilled at performing a variety of procedures. Finding one whose gallery shows that they can successfully perform other surgeries, such as a breast enhancement or body lift, will help confirm their versatility and skill.

Proper incision placement

Scars are a necessary part of all surgery, but an experienced plastic surgeon will always attempt to place incisions in easily-concealable areas, such as in your skin’s natural folds or within your swimsuit lines.

We offer Embrace Scar Therapy at our practice to help your scars heal faster and appear less visible. Embrace’s FDA-cleared sterile strips gently contract around incisions to dramatically reduce tension, protect against infection, and create an optimal environment for healing. Our patients who use Embrace typically enjoy thinner, lighter, and flatter scars within months after their procedures.

After her pregnancy, this 35 year-old patient was left with stretched abdominal muscles and extra abdominal fat she wished to correct. Dr. Kirby was able to restore her post-pregnancy shape by tightening her abdominal muscles and liposuctioning her flanks, inner thighs, and inner knees. Notice how her horizontal tummy tuck scar is completely hidden within her bikini line and her belly button scar is barely noticeable.

Choose Dr. Kirby for your Fort Worth plastic surgery

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Emily Kirby maintains the highest standards for her before and after gallery, as she understands it is a valuable resource for patients considering plastic surgery. Dr. Kirby has been named a Top Doctor by 360 West Magazine and Texas Super Doctors, and recently joined the 2021 MedEsthetics Editorial Advisory Board. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Kirby online or call/text (817) 292-4200.

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