Photographic standards in plastic surgery

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998 Aug;102(2):559-68. doi: 10.1097/00006534-199808000-00045.


Standard photographic technique in plastic surgery is an important topic that has been stressed in the discipline over the past several years. Clinical photographs should always be taken with the same camera lens, lens setting, lighting, film, and patient position to ensure reproducibility and to enable valid pre- and postoperative comparisons. A 35-mm single lens reflex camera is highly recommended for this type of photography. Two lenses are suggested, one with a focal length range of 50 to 60 mm and one with a focal length range of 90 to 105 mm. Both should have macro capability. Two or more flash units are recommended, either camera-mounted or a studio system set-up in the office. Using the patient preparation method and technique outlined in the text, the Standards in Clinical Photography achieve consistency from patient to patient and also in the same patient in pre- and postoperative photographs. Henceforth, the information discussed in the article forms the basis for standard views, regardless of the image-capture medium.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Lenses
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Photography / instrumentation*
  • Surgery, Plastic / instrumentation*