Patients considering rhinoplasty are often concerned with what the final result will look like. “Does my surgeon understand what I want?” or “Am I being realistic?” are common question from rhinoplasty patients. Of all facial cosmetic procedures, rhinoplasty is the most difficult for surgeons to effectively communicate expected results to their patients.
Video imaging has helped all of that. Using specialized software, surgeons can use a patient’s image and create an expected post surgery result. Side views, which patients do not often fully appreciate, can be viewed. Side by side before and after comparisons can be viewed by both the surgeon and the patients. This allows the surgeon to portray his expected outcome. It also allows the patient to make sure that their surgeon is on the same page as they are. All of this leads to a tremendous improvement in communication.
Video imaging does have limitations. As I tell all of my patients, video imaging is a goal and not a guarantee. It represents what both the patient and the surgeon would like to see. Other factors, such as anatomy encountered at surgery and post operating healing, cannot be predicted. And while the post operative results are often very close, they are rarely exactly the same as the video imaging.
Video imaging has greatly improved patient-doctor communication with rhinoplasty. With proper understanding of its limitations, patients can now have a better understanding of what rhinoplasty can do for them.
Posted by Mark M. Hamilton M.D. FACS