Rhinoplasty surgeons have a variety of tools at their disposal to help them create a new nose for their patients, including virtual imaging software. The software uses photos of the patient to digitally adjust the nose to show what it could look like after surgery. This type of software isn’t found in all rhinoplasty surgeons’ offices, but it is becoming more and more prevalent every day. Patients and surgeons alike benefit from utilizing this technology, especially when it comes to rhinoplasty surgery.
How Rhinoplasty Patients Can Use Virtual Imaging
Even before they visit a plastic surgeon, rhinoplasty patients can have access to virtual imaging software via the internet. Different websites use these programs to help patients experiment with nose shapes and sizes, as well as how minor adjustments can affect their whole nose. The software used by the websites won’t be as accurate and may not even demonstrate the same techniques that the surgeon plans to use, but for patients who struggle with imagining how their nose could look after surgery, these are a terrific resource.
Virtual imaging is also a way for patients to evaluate potential surgeons. Surgeons who utilize the software will often do so in their patient consultations or their pre-surgery appointments. Having visual aids helps patients actually see what a potential surgeon’s plan is for their nose and decide if they would like that surgeon to do their rhinoplasty.
Patients are also able to have a more active and hands-on role with their rhinoplasty. Surgeons who use virtual imaging can work with patients and play around with different changes to their nose before the surgery is even scheduled. This helps patients feel more confident in their decision to have rhinoplasty and to go to this particular surgeon.
How Rhinoplasty Surgeons Can Use Virtual Imaging
Virtual imaging makes a terrific visual aid tool for plastic surgeons. They can experiment with their initial ideas or approaches to surgery. They can see if a small change would be just as effective as a big change. They can also use the images as a review and study tool to prep for surgery. When surgeons see hundreds of patients every year, it helps to digitally refresh their plan for a specific patient.
The software is also extremely effective during the patient consultation. Rather than being limited to their imaginations, patients can actually see what the surgeon plans to do with their nose. Surgeons can walk their patient through the process step-by-step and show how their nose could look once it has completely healed. This helps patients feel less confused or worried about the procedure and gives them a better understanding of the process.
Limitations of Virtual Imaging
Despite how good your nose looks on the program, the computer is only looking at the outside of your nose. Rhinoplasty often involves changing the outside by making some changes to the internal structures inside your nose. And sometimes, what you see on the screen isn’t going to be possible with how your nose is structured. Your surgeon is the one that actually performs the rhinoplasty, not the computer, so they may be limited with what they can physically do.
Since the computer is also not the one performing the surgery, there is a chance that your nose may look slightly different in reality than it did during your consultation. Surgeons are people, too, so even if they follow the procedure exactly the way they planned using virtual imaging, the result may still be a little different. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have an amazing and beautiful nose; it just means that you shouldn’t expect what you see in the program to be exactly what you end up with.
Virtual imaging is a fantastic and useful tool, but it is only a tool. It does not guarantee results, only possibilities.
Virtual Imaging at Bustillo Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Dr. Andres Bustillo is a facial plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of rhinoplasties every year. In fact, roughly half his practice is dedicated to rhinoplasty surgery. Dr. Bustillo uses virtual imaging during his consultations with his patients to help them better understand the process and to visually demonstrate how he will reshape the nose.
To schedule a rhinoplasty consultation with Dr. Bustillo, contact his office in Coral Gables, FL at (305) 663-3380.