Your consultation for plastic surgery is the jumping-off point for your entire journey. It is a critical visit because it can provide you with all of the details you need to make an informed and confident decision. During the visit, the doctor answers questions and discusses what they believe can be achieved through surgery. To help facilitate the clearest communication, many patients bring photos with them to their consult. If you’re preparing for a consultation with Dr. Walden or Dr. Atencio, you need to know a few things about the use of photos in a plastic surgery consult.
Photos Aren’t Everything
All plastic surgery procedures, especially facial procedures like rhinoplasty and facelift surgery, are unique. This is because every person’s facial features are unique. While photos can be used to inform the doctor and aid in creating a clear expectation, they do not serve as a template for the “perfect nose.” The surgeon plans a procedure with a bigger picture in mind. For example, in the case of rhinoplasty, the only perfect nose is the one that relates well with other facial features. Altering the nose too much can make it look unnatural and unattractive.
But Bring Them Anyway
Even though a skilled surgeon will not create a replica of someone else’s nose for any patient, it can still be beneficial to bring photos to your first visit. Doing so can help you explain what you want to achieve without you having to find the perfect words. While most plastic surgery patients have gotten very good at critiquing their appearance, especially as it relates to features they don’t love, it can be difficult to walk into your first visit with the language to accurately describe your wishes. Most patients have a general idea of this and may express it in terms like “I want my nose a little straighter and smaller.” The question that the surgeon will pick up on is “a little.” What that means to one person may be very different than another. In this way, photos can provide reference to more abstract terms.
When preparing for your plastic surgery consult, try to choose the best possible images to share with your doctor. These will be high-resolution and in proper lighting. Whenever possible, it is helpful to also have multiple views of the same feature. Some of the best resources for reference photos can be found right on a plastic surgeon’s website in their Before and After gallery. Also, try to choose photos of people whose body or face resembles your own. For example, if you have a longer face, choose photos of people with longer faces. This makes a difference in how your objectives come across.
The goal of a plastic surgery consult is to enable the doctor and patient to get on the same page about desired changes and expected outcomes. Dr. Walden and Dr. Atencio each hold a wealth of knowledge and practical skills to achieve outstanding results. To schedule your consultation, contact our Austin office at 512.328.4100.