Q & A with Dr. Rucker: Rhinoplasty Imaging

Q: I have been in for a rhinoplasty consultation and you do not do imaging to show what the nose may look like after surgery. Would you consider doing this? If not, why not? I am going to have it done but would like see something like this.

A: In regard to your question regarding computer imaging in an attempt to better visualize the result of a rhinoplasty.  I have researched this technology extensively and have used the software required for computer imaging.  I have come to the conclusion that this is not a viable option for my practice for the following reasons. 

1. I feel the imaging process does not give an accurate picture of the result in many cases. This has been a concern with this technology throughout the plastic surgery community.  This discrepancy in anticipated results has lead to a significant amount of displeasure with patients seeing one result and in reality not receiving that result.  

2. I feel that those users of the technology tend to over estimate the anticipated result on the computer image, which can also lead to a strain on the patient to physician relationship. This technology I feel is better suited for showing possible results following body contouring but is significantly lacking with trying to show the anticipated results on the face.  I try to present a mental pictures to the patient of the anticipated result.  I emphasize shape, tip reduction, nostril changes and alterations of the bridge of the nose.  In this way I feel that each patient can better understand the anatomy and how we anticipate the changes that we propose for it.  The most common concern that my patients tell me is that I don’t want my nose to be overdone.  We strive to give a result that looks natural and compliments the overall appearance of the face.    


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