Showing Rhinoplasty Surgeon a Picture of a Nose That You Like?

I can't explain what I want for Rhinoplasty, but I see pictures of some noses and like them. Is it possible to show a picture or is it more complicated than that?

Doctor Answers 6

Rhinoplasty: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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Pictures of noses or features of noses that you like (and dislike) are a valuable means of communicating with your rhinoplasty surgeon. Patient's often have a hard time describing with words what it is that they want changed about their noses.

Most rhinoplasty surgeons use computer imaging / morphing to show patients their simulated results using their own pictures. This is also an very effective means of allowing you and your surgeon to "get on the same page" and to set goals for your specific surgery.

Recently, 3D computer imaging has become available for rhinoplasty consultations. These programs allow the patient and doctor to look at the nose from a variety of angles to see how the nose might look after surgery (see link below).

Dallas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Showing picture of a nose that you like to Rhinoplasty surgeons

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1. "Is it possible to show a picture ?" - You SHOULD show your plastic surgeons as many side and front pictures that you LIKE and HATE as possible. By doing so, you will communicate what shape you want and do not want.

2. "...or is it more complicated than that?" - Yes. Nose surgery is one of the most complicated procedures in plastic surgery. It consists of a large collection of a la carte surgical procedures, EACH intended to produce another result / shape.

Personally, I like to go over my patients' photographs and then have my patient's go over the photographs I took of them and draw on them what they hoped could be done. By fully understanding what you hope to achieve, your surgeon can tell you if what you are asking is achievable (IE realistic) and, if you ask, can actually explain which surgical sub-procedures may deliver the result you wish.

In summary, photographic discussions are very important. Another example where a picture is worth...well, you know.

I hope this was helpful.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Not really!

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After more than 30 years of doing noses, I still have patients bring in photos of noses they like. Equally important is for you to make sure the noses the surgeon does are to your liking. If not, go elsewhere! 

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Rhinoplasty Photos

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Bringing photos to your consultation can help. But do not expect your nose to look like one of the ones in the pictures. What I would communicate to your plastic surgeon is by telling him or her what you dont like about your nose. Why is it that you have come to a surgeons office wanting change? What is it that you want to change? What bothers your about your nose?

Those questions help as much if not more than photos of other people.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Rhinoplasty pictures

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As with any cosmetic procedure, the closer your surgeon can come with surgery to your desired results the happier you will be. That means that you must communicate to your physician what it is that you do not like about your nose, what you would like to see improved and what you would like to see as an end result. Your surgeon will then, after a thorough examination to including medical history, be able to tell you whether he/she can accomplish what you desire and if not how close you can get. Your surgeon must paint a picture in your mind as to what is realistic considering your goals and the reality of the limitations of surgery. So do not hesitate to ask many questions during your consultation and if still uncertain or concerned get a second opinion.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty photos to help guide surgery

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Dear MJay,

Bringing in photos of noses you like can be very helpful. It is particularly useful in helping your rhinoplasty surgeon gauge whether you and he or she have similar aesthetic judgment. It's important that you realize, however, that bringing in photos does not mean that your surgeon will necessarily be able to re-create that nose on your face. Nasal appearance is controlled by individual differences in nasal cartilage and bone, as well as by differences in nasal skin thickness and quality. Nonetheless, I find photos brought in by patients to be very useful - it almost always leads to an enlightening discussion of what patients are hoping to achieve with surgery.

Hope this helps. Best of luck!

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.