Rhinoplasty Imaging Can Show You How Your Nose Might Look After Surgery

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How will my nose look after rhinoplasty?   This is one of the biggest concerns that rhinoplasty patients have when considering nose reshaping surgery.

One way to gain a better understanding of how rhinoplasty would change your appearance is to visit with a rhinoplasty specialist who can show you what your potential rhinoplasty results would look like.

  • Pre-operative Evaluation Methods:
    • Hand drawings on patient photographs
    • Computer Imaging (Morphing)
    • 3D Rhinoplasty Imaging

There are several methods that rhinoplasty surgeons use in their practices to help patients understand what their surgical result may look like. Some surgeons prefer to use hand drawings on tracing paper overlying the patient photographs. The surgeon draws the intended outcome on the photographs to give patients a rough idea of what to expect from surgery.

With advances in technology, computer imaging has largely replaced hand-drawings.  The patient's photographs are digitally altered - or morphed - to show patients in a more realistic way what their nose might look like after surgery.  This is a very effective way of communicating the intended surgical results to the patient and to set goals for surgery.

Most recently, 3D computer imaging and analysis has become available. This new technology allow the surgeon and the patient to view a preoperative image in 3 dimensions. The image can be rotated and viewed from any angle. Morphing tools allow the result to be simulated in 3D and viewed from any angle (see link below).

Every rhinoplasty patient is unique and so should their rhinoplasty. For the nose to look natural, it must be in balance and harmony with the other facial features. Computer Imaging allows the goals for rhinoplasty to be agreed upon by both the surgeon and the patient before surgery.

It is very important to realize that all imaging and drawings are used to set goals for surgery.  Surgeons cannot guarantee results, and there will always be some subtle variations from the simulations. However, the real value in this valuable preoperative tool is that it can increase the surgeon's understanding of the patient's goals and allows the surgeon to obtain a rhinoplasty result as close as possible to that which the patient desires.

Article by
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon