Should I Bring Photos to My Consult
Your initial consult with a plastic surgeon is a great opportunity to ask questions and discuss your procedure. It’s also the best time to reach an understanding with your surgeon about what sort of results you would like, and what results you can expect. One of the best ways to bring your desires in line with reality is to bring a selection of photos to the consultation.
Photos Aren’t Everything
A key point to remember about any cosmetic procedure – especially facial ones – is that every patient’s features are unique. When an experienced facial plastic surgeon performs a rhinoplasty, for instance, it’s not a matter of applying a “perfect nose” template to your face. A skilled practitioner will always keep in mind the relation of your nose to other parts of your face. A balanced, natural, and attractive look is what he or she will aim for.
This means that simply copying whatever is shown in the images you present may not be the best option. What looks perfect on one person might look awkward on another, and you shouldn’t necessarily expect (or want!) parts of your face to look exactly like someone else’s.
But Bring Them Anyway
Notwithstanding the above, it’s still a very good idea to bring photos to your consultation. Above all, consultations are about communication between doctor and patient. It’s sometimes quite difficult to describe exactly what you want in abstract terms, without any specific images you can refer to. Saying “I want my nose to be a bit smaller and straighter” is a great start, but there’s a risk that you and your surgeon will interpret “a bit” in different ways. Photos are fantastic for helping you both get on the same page.
The best kind of photos you can bring are high-resolution, with good lighting and perhaps a few different angles. Photos taken by other medical professionals (such as the before-and-after shots used in plastic surgery) are generally the most helpful for your surgeon. The more the person in the photo resembles you, the more likely it is that a given feature will prove to be a reasonable fit for your face. Bear in mind that celebrity photos are often touched up, attaining a perfect symmetry that’s practically impossible in the real world.
Aside from photos, it’s also worth trying one of the great plastic surgery “visualizers” that we discussed in more detail a few months ago. Face Touch Up, for example, helps patients simulate exactly what they want from their rhinoplasty or chin surgery, and allows them to share this information with their surgeon. Good communication skills are a vital quality in a surgeon, and your surgeon should be able to explain to you to what extent your results will replicate or differ from the photos or 3D simulations you bring in.
Dr. Siegel is a facial plastic surgeon with particular expertise in all kinds of rhinoplasty. To find out more about how to prepare for your consultation, contact him today!