Can Rhinoplasty Results Be Previewed by Computer Imaging?

Is there any way to preview results of the procedure by altering patient pictures in image processing applications? Can anybody describe to me what Rhinoplasty (for narrowing the nose) results should I expect based on my picture?

Doctor Answers 33

Computer simulations don't predict outcomes

Computer imaging is sometimes a useful tool for communication between the patient and the doctor. However it doesnot predict an outcome.

It is easy to perform "surgery" on a computer. Photoshop flawlessly creates beautiful visual effects. The computer simulation does not, however, predict the effects on the appearance, the effects from/on adjacent unoperated tissues, on breathing etc.

The disclaimers most doctors give their patients are an indication of how unhappy patients are if their surgery doesn't produce exactly what's on the picture.

It is in my opinion more accurate to look at actual before-after photographs of real patients with similar features and see how they come out.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Image software helps in previewing results

Some of the plastic surgeon's offices offer a computer imaging for the Rhinoplasty results preview and review purpose. It gives a patient an opportunity to view and discuss the options of the nose changes. Some patients value a chance to discuss and "design together" with a surgeon a desired look. It gives them certain level of confidence in perusing the rhinoplasty surgery.

Gregory Turowski, MD, PhD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Are we on the same page?

I find computer imaging software most helpful to better understand what your desires are. It is really a GREAT communication tool. It really works best on profile view. Do you want your nose more or less projected (how far it sticks off your face) or do you want it more or less turned up? Do you want a scooped out or a straight bridge?

Frontal view is not as representative as the profile view because the photo is flat (2 dimensional and you are 3 dimensional) but it may show you what you would look like with a narrower tip or bridge. Interestingly I give my patients multiple options and I find that most people want a nose that is not too different from what they already have. They just want a little modification so that they look themselves but better. Of course the computer image is not 100 percent and can not be considered a guarantee but I find that most people after undergoing rhinoplasty find the computer image pictured pre treatment very helpful and accurate. Although I emphasize it is best as a communication device the computer imaging helps me and my patient get on the same page. Their vision becomes mine.

Good luck

Steven H. Dayan, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Computer Imaging in Rhinoplasty

I use computer imaging extensively in my rhinoplasty consultations. I feel it is an essential part of my practice, as it allows patients to communicate their aesthetic wishes in visual form. At the same time, it gives me the opportunity to display what sort of results I feel are achievable and realistic given the patient's nasal anatomy and skin type. These images usually take about 15-20 minutes to create and I do save them, to use as a guide during surgery. The images are not a guarantee of results but rather a visual representation of our mutual surgical goals for the patient's nose. 

I also offer patients the opportunity to perform this imaging before they come in for their consultations, by using the simple, easy-to-use Virtual Rhinoplasty application on my website. These images can be saved, printed, or emailed to me before the consult takes place. I find this application particularly useful for international patients or those from outside the San Francisco Bay Area, as we can begin the consultation process through this imaging app and over the telephone. I can then examine the patient's nose and discuss the entire surgical experience in detail the day before surgery, when they fly into town for the preoperative visit.

In your specific case, a full set of photographs (in particular the front view) would be useful as it sounds like your goal is to narrow your nose. 

Best of luck,

Dr. Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Rhinoplasty: 3D Computer Imaging Can Help Set Goals For Surgery

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 tracing paper overlying the patient photographs. This can give patients a rough idea of what to expect from surgery.

Computer imaging, frequently called computer morphing, is a very effective way of communicating the intended surgical results 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)

It is very important to realize that all imaging and drawings are used to set goals for surgery. 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 desires.

C. Spencer Cochran, MD
Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 145 reviews

Morphing software abounds

You can have your nose "morphed" with one of the many morphing software applications that are available. In fact, you can probably even morph the photo yourself with photoshop to see how your proposed surgery might look. You could bring your altered photo to your plastic surgeon to see if the results are indeed realistic. Good luck.

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Yes -on a computer. Real patient before/after photos more reliable

My son can make you a great nose on a computer: he knows nothing about noses. Look at the surgeons before/after noses that are similar to yours. This will give a better idea as to what the doctor actually does.

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Computer imaging may be helpful for determining your candidacy for rhinoplasty surgery.

Your nasal profile appears to show a long nasal appearance, with a tension-lip, and a small profile hump. Consider consulting with several rhinoplasty specialists so you could see what to expect following rhinoplasty. Computer imaging is routine and may be helpful for you and your surgeon. Thank you. Dr Joseph

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Results via Computer Imaging

Several plastic surgeons, including myself, have computer imaging technology at their office available for patients to get a better understanding of what their new nose will look like. Though the image you see on the computer screen is not an exact guarantee of what your new nose will look like after surgery, it is a good indication. Keep in mind that computer imaging gives a more accurate simulation from the profile view than the front view. Even 3D Vectra computer imaging cannot give the most accurate assessment from the front view. For this reason I sometimes forego computer imaging with revision rhinoplasty patients; the imaging is just too inaccurate and can create unrealistic expectations. At my office, I use the technology to work with the patient to re-design their nose as a team. If this is something you’re interested in, contact prominent plastic surgeons near you and ask if their office is equipped with computer imaging software.

Sam Rizk, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Video imaging will show you result ahead of time.

Patients can view what their postoperative rhinoplasty images might look like through video imaging. 

Mark Hamilton, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.