But most patients undergo cosmetic surgery without knowing the exact outcome.
Now a state-of-the-art 3D imaging program is being used by surgeons to show patients what they'll look like.
When Fresno plastic surgeon Dr. James Knoetgen meets with a client at Beautologie in Northeast Fresno, he answers any questions she has about her procedure, but what he can show her is truly eye-opening.
"One thing we're always trying to do is find better ways to educate our patients and help give them a realistic idea of what to expect and what they can't expect from plastic surgery," Dr. Knoetgen said.
Sammie Story of Fresno expects a change she's been wanting to make for a few years.
She says her family and friends were a little stunned, after she told them she wants a breast augmentation at the age of 21.
"They think I'm definitely crazy but it's my decision," Story said. "My philosophy is do what you need to do to be beautiful and feel good about yourself."
To help Sammie visualize the results of her procedure, she gets pictures taken, the doctor takes her measurements, then he shows us how he plugs-in the images and information into a state-of-the-art software program called E-Stetix by Crisalix.
It gives the patient and the doctor, a 3D image of the patient's own body before and after surgery.
The images can be rotated on the screen, allowing the patient to see her own body at different angles before making final decisions about her procedure.
"It really shows them exactly what they're going to look like as opposed to what an implant would look like in their clothing or a bra," Dr. Knoetgen said.
The Crisilex 3D software not only allows patients to see what their enhanced body will look like, but also what their body will look like with different clothing options. It's a virtual tour of their closet without having to try on all their clothes.
Patients can also "try on" facial procedures from less-invasive treatments like Botox and fillers to surgeries like nose reconstruction and face-lifts.
Using the software doesn't add any more cost for the client. We spoke to the software company, and Crisilex tells us, the cost of the program for a doctor is about $1800 but most doctors include the use of the program in their consultation with their patients at no extra cost for the patient.
Dr. Knoetgen says the 3D imaging is included in the price of his client's procedures.
For Sammy, seeing is believing and she's ready to take the next step.
"Cause I can visualize what it'll look like, with each picture," she said.