A plastic surgeon weighed in on a set of controversial pictures that claim to show the unedited outcome of a woman’s facial plastic surgery trip to Turkey.
Viral and doubted since their debut, the images come courtesy of Dr. May Aesthetic.
The vast majority of viewers believe Photoshop or digital alteration is involved.
In one poll, 92 percent of respondents said the photos show two different women.
Dr. Anthony Youn, MD, says he believes otherwise.
“Now, I do think this is the same person, with really impressive results.”Dr. Anthony Youn, Jan. 16, 2024
“This photo is going viral for this incredible before and after result….
“Now, I do think this is the same person, with really impressive results,” Youn said on social media on Tuesday.
Youn’s audience is unconvinced.
The world’s most widely-followed plastic surgeon put the considerable reach of his platforms behind the series of images, believed by many to be digitally altered.
He appeared to endorse the surgeon’s work and praised his results, though added caveats about the way the “after” images were taken, including using what he called a “sh*t ton of makeup.”
Youn also pointed out the preoperative photos were at angles not replicated in the postoperative photos, and warned that medical tourism can result in visits to the ER by patients who return home and experience problems but don’t have a local plastic surgeon.
“So I think she’s had Botox in her forehead, she’s had an upper blepharoplasty, a lower blepharoplasty, a rhinoplasty, an upper lip lift, filler into the lips, fat into the cheeks, and a facelift,” Youn said, estimating the surgery likely took 9-10 hours.
In comments, Dr. Youn suggested the work would cost $1-million if done in the U.S.
It cost “between $10,000 and $18,000 USD” the clinic told the Times in September.
‘Shady,’ Non-Standard Before & Afters an ‘Epidemic’
Youn’s praise comes as surgeons and media outlets are warning of a rise in digitally-altered and otherwise manipulated before-and-after surgical photos on social media.
Board-certified plastic surgeons who have called attention to manipulative patient photography in just the past two months include Dr. Kelly Killeen, MD, Dr. Christian Subbio, MD, Dr. Jonathan Sykes, MD, Dr. Michael J Reilly, MD, and Dr. Amir Hakimi.
Social Media Gives Non-Standard Patient Pics a Seat at World’s Table
The images became publicly significant in September, because they were so incredible they prompted viewers to suggest they were photoshopped—or featured two different women, perhaps a mother and her daughter, many said.
Experts reached by the Times in September said the same.
May Aesthetic maintains the pictures accurately represented the woman’s results.
But when asked about the claims of digital photo manipulation it had received from two industry sources, the clinic, located overseas in Turkey, ceased further communication.
The clinic told the Times it had taken both the patient’s “before” and “after” images.
“In first pictures we are taking pictures on operation day[,] second one when patient came for control.”DrMayAesthetic to Surgical Times, September 17, 2023
But, pressed for further proof on social media, the clinic responded to one viewer—who said she would “book flights” if shown more proof—by saying the patient had sent in her own “after” images from the US, where she reportedly resides.
The clinic also did not respond to a Times request for additional photos or supportive evidence.
“She is from USA she se d [send] that pictures to us.”@DrMayAesthetic, TikTok
Like most of the patient cases May Aesthetic shares on social media, the present images show dramatic and stunning-if-true transformations through the lens of a handful of still photographs.
Yet they purport to show years-long transformative journeys often involving numerous surgical procedures.
The images typically use methods widely-acknowledged within the industry as improper, including makeup, non-faith related partial head coverings, and superior lighting in postoperative images. Photoshop, the use of filters, and other digital alterations have also been alleged. (Claims May Aesthetic did not respond to.)
Dr. Youn did not respond to an emailed request for comment sent early Wednesday.