A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to rhinoplasty (cosmetic nasal surgery). When used prior to rhinoplasty, digital computer imaging serves as a wonderful communication tool between the patient and surgeon. Computer imaging, which allows the surgeon to morph images of the patient’s features on the computer, provides an approximate visualization of what the nose will look like following surgery. It allows the surgeon and patient to gain a more realistic understanding of the patient’s desires.
As opposed to the patient bringing in multiple photos of the nose he or she would like to have, computer imaging allows the patient and surgeon to together decide what is the most safe and aesthetically pleasing nose for him or her.
How does computer imaging work? The surgeon takes several digital photos of the patient’s face, from various angles. The patient and surgeon then view the photos on a computer screen, where, with morphing software, the surgeon is able to mold and shape the patient’s features on the photo. Displaying various outcomes, the photos allow the patient and surgeon to discuss what would be the most favored appearance of the nose, as it relates to the rest of the face.
It’s important to understand that although computer imaging does provide an approximate image of what the nose will look like after surgery, it will not represent what the exact final outcome of the surgery.
Why is computer imaging helpful when considering rhinoplasty? It’s extremely beneficial to visualize how changing the shape and/or size of the nose will affect the overall appearance of the face. what a patient may think would be the perfect nose might not look so wonderful when he or she can see how it will relate to other areas of the face. for example, the nose of a celebrity who stands 5’2 with a small face may not look good on a 5’10 woman with strong facial features. Also, computer imaging helps the surgeon and patient develop a surgical plan together. sometimes, what the patient wants simply isn’t medically possible. or, the chance of damage, such as nasal collapse and difficulty breathing, may be too great with the type of nose a patient initially desires.
Morphing software has been used by plastic surgeons since the 1990s, and it is becoming increasingly popular. The ultimate goal of the software is that the communication between surgeon and patient is more effective to allow for clear understanding of the patients desired outcomes. Using sound surgical judgement of possible rhinoplasty outcomes, the surgeon can best advise the patient as to what is possible before and after rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most complex operations that a facial plastic surgeon performs. Using tools such as computer imaging can help surgeons create an aesthetically pleasing, natural-looking nose, individual to one’s unique anatomical features; as well as ensure that the nose is well-functioning.
As with any plastic surgery procedure, it’s very important to work with a highly qualified surgeon when undergoing rhinoplasty.