Is it a bad sign that my surgeon doesn't offer visual imaging for Rhinoplasty? (photos)

Hello. I had my consultation and I have read reviews before so I was already aware but my surgeon doesn't offer visual imaging at all. He said to me that it is worthless and it gives people false expectations as it doesn't account for skin/ cartilage etc. I agree but I find it our hard to see if we are on the same page.I have shown him pictures & I like a long ethnic nose. He told me that in the operation he does what looks best but what if his idea of best is completely different to mine.

Doctor Answers 7

Computer imaging at the time of consultation

In our practice, we perform computer imaging during the rhinoplasty consultation to give patients an idea of what their new nose might look like on their face. Although it's not a  guarantee of results, it gives the patient some idea and it is part of the communication process between the surgeon and the patient. Rhinoplasty is the hardest operation to perform in the entire field of cosmetic surgery, so choose your surgeon wisely based on experience.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Is it a bad sign that my surgeon doesn't offer visual imaging for Rhinoplasty?

Thank you for your question. Visual imaging whether it is simulated on a computer or traced over your actual photographs is an important communication tool when discussing the goals and objectives of rhinoplasty surgery. It is important to remember however that the simulated results are a simulation and will not be an exact representation of your final result. Given that you understand this I personally find visual simulation an important component of my rhinoplasty consultation. 

To say that it is a bad sign that your surgeon does not offer visual imaging is not completely correct. As long as your feel comfortable that you have communicated your goals and they are understood by your surgeon, then that is the primary aim of a rhinoplasty consultation.

Dr Guy Watts

Imaging and rhinoplasty

Every physician has their own communication style and preferences. I find 3D imaging and simulation is useful to both the patient and myslef in the consultation and preop planning phase. Recently I have had patients do their own morphing, and bring in ideas of how they want their nose to look, as there are photoshop programs widely available to the lay public too. I think its an excellent tool, and I don't dissuade them from using their own morphing app or software program, although I use the Vectra 3D imaging in my office on nearly every rhinoplasty patient. I just explain what I can and can't do with surgery versus the imaging simulation so that they know what to expect. Good luck!

Jennifer L. Walden, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Photographic simulation

Hi there.  I know many surgeons do not offer imaging.  Is it a negative?

I can't do without it when I communicate with a patient.  It tells me that we are both headed in the same direction and on the same page as you say, and gives a very real simulation of what I am aiming for in surgery.  I personally however do not understand why a surgeon would say that it is not representative of the result they are trying to achieve.

Current software is very sophisticated.  After examining you and doing photographs, I can then simulate what I think is achievable. One can show anything with the software so I should be able to make it realistic. The result I achieve should then be close to what I show you, or at least headed in a similar direction, give or take some allowance for the quality of your tissues and healing.

So does it mean that it is a negative if a surgeon doesn't use it? Probably not. It probably means they have just not used it.  However most rhinoplasty surgeons use imaging software these days. It is a very useful tool.

I hope this helps.

Peter Callan, MBBS
Geelong Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Visual Imaging for Rhinoplasty

Not offering visual imaging or morphing software should not be viewed as a negative. I, like many rhinoplasty surgeons, do not offering visual imaging. I find that the images shown by these software often do not represent actual results and are therefore misleading. Your best bet is to look for a board certified plastic surgeon that does a fair amount of rhinoplasties. Communicate your goals and wishes adequately to your surgeon so that your are both "on the same page". Good luck.

Kenty Sian, MD
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Visual Imaging Software is a Double Edge Sword

Most plastic surgeons approach cosmetic rhinoplasty by identifying the desire endpoints of the patient and reconcile these aspirations with the technical constraints presented by the patient's anatomy. Communication between surgeon and patient is essential to prevent disappointment.  

Pre and postop photos of patients with similar facial morphology, diagrams of nasal anatomy, photoshopped images, and visual imaging software are all common tools used by rhinoplasty surgeons to level the disparity between patient expectation and surgical outcome anticipated by the surgeon.  No single tool has proven better.

The absence of visual imaging should not be negatively interpreted.  Furthermore, its use can be costly and may further the disappointment if the final outcome of rhinoplasty does not approximate the predicted changes generated by the visual imaging software.

Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Rhinoplasty photo simulations

Thank you for your question.  I find that computer photo simulation is a useful tool to help make sure that the patient and I share the same vision.  Having said that, I know several excellent rhinoplasty surgeons who do not for various reasons.  I don't think its a red flag or anything that a surgeon does not.  Some are just not comfortable with the computer software and don't want to learn.  Others feel as your surgeon does that it may give unrealistic expectations.  Regardless, its up to you to decide how important it is that your surgeon offer this technology.  It sounds like you have a reasonable concern, so you just have to decide if you and your surgeon are really "on the same page".  If you aren't sure, but like him/her ask to meet again to iron out any apprehension you have.  Good luck!

Sirius K. Yoo, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.