Research proves showing before and after photos boosts patient satisfaction

blonde woman smiling holding a laptop in front of a desk with an laptop displaying before and after photos of a woman's body contouring treatment

Recently two physicians, Nebahat Demet Akpolat, M.D. and Sezin Unlu, M.D., set out to examine the effect of showing (versus not showing) pre-procedure and post-procedure photos to aesthetic patients at their follow up appointments.  They found that the patient’s satisfaction with outcomes was greatly impacted by whether the photos were shown.  The study concluded that showing before and after photos significantly boosts the patient’s satisfaction with the outcome of their procedure.


The clinical study, the results of which are published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, included 265 female patients, 18 – 61 years old, who underwent surgical rhinoplasty procedures.   Pre-procedure photographs were taken at baseline.  Post-treatment photographs were taken one month after the procedure.


At the follow-up visit, none of the 265 patients were shown photographs initially.  They were then asked to complete two questionnaires, the Derriford Appearance Scale 24 (DAS24) and the Rhinoplasty Outcome Evaluation (ROE).


The Derriford Appearance Scale 24 (DAS24) is a method used to measure aesthetic problems of appearance.


The Rhinoplasty Outcome Evaluation (ROE) is a tool used specifically to measure patient satisfaction with rhinoplasty outcomes.


After completing these two questionnaires, each patient was then shown their pre-procedure photographs and their post-procedure photographs.  After that, they were again asked to complete both the two questionnaires, the DASA24 and the ROE.


After being shown their pre-photographs and post-photographs, all subject’s satisfaction scores in both the DAS24 questionnaire and the ROE questionnaire showed significant improvement.


The researchers concluded that showing before and after photos to patients at the follow-up visit does indeed lead to greater satisfaction in outcomes…and showing before and after photographs even improves the patient’s self-image.


An Editorial Comment from the Body Contouring Academy

  • These findings apply one-hundred percent to body contouring treatments.


  • Many patients forget how they looked before they start with treatments.
  • And because their improvement happens gradually and over time, they sometimes don’t see it.
  • They may come in for their follow-up visit thinking that the treatment did not work.
  • But once you show them the transformation in the photographs, they are thrilled and ready for the next step.


Pro Tip:

  • Take advantage of your patient’s excitement when she sees the great results in the photos.
  • The follow-up appointment is the perfect time to ask for a review or video testimonial.
  • How do you ask for a review or testimonial?
  • We tell you how in our blog, 5 Reasons to use video testimonials to grow your medical spa.  


Visit for more tips and information about how to build and grow a profitable body contouring business.