Patients clarify plastic surgery goals with help of photos

'Before' and 'after' pictures taken of patients who have undergone plastic surgery are one of the most effective tools available to help people consider whether to go ahead with a procedure, according to a leading Canadian cosmetic surgery specialist. Dr Peter Lennox, who practises in Vancouver, says that, when it comes to reassuring patients who are unsure about the possible outcomes of a procedure, a picture can paint a thousand words. "With plastic surgery, the value of a visual aid is especially high," he says. "A surgeon's description can only go so far in conveying the possible results of a given procedure. Looking at other patients' results can play a key role in the decision-making process of anyone thinking about plastic surgery." But, he said, many prospective patients often don't make enough use of the portfolios of work which are widely available online to help them make that final decision. In Dr Lennox's case, he has placed a photo gallery on his website, but has gone further and explained more about the work which each patient has undergone. "My hope is that anyone interested in scheduling a consultation will study not only the photos but also the explanations we provide along with them," he said. "For example, women can look at photos and read corresponding descriptions of the type and size of [breast] implant used in each case. "This lets them see what I was able to do for that patient with that particular implant. In this way, they can evaluate both the surgeon and the procedure."