FRIDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Computer imaging software gives patients a fairly good idea of how they'll look after a "nose job," and the majority value the preview process, a new study finds.
The "morphing" software, used by plastic surgeons since the 1990s, appears to improve patient-doctor communication, surgeons involved with the study said.
"Having an image of an individual in front of you and manipulating that nose on the screen is better than [the patient] showing me pictures of 15 other women's noses she likes," said Dr. Andrew Frankel, senior study author and a plastic surgeon at the Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills, Calif. "It's her face and her nose."
Patients who thought their computer image was accurate tended to be happier about the results, the study found, while plastic surgeons were less likely than patients to think the computer image correctly predicted how the remodeled nose turned out.
The study is in the November/December issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.
The imaging software was a major step forward in the world of rhinoplasty, or plastic surgery of the nose, Frankel said.
"Before computer imaging, people would bring in pictures of celebrities or other noses they liked and would say, 'Could you make me look like this?'" Frankel said.
But promising that was often impossible, plastic surgeons said. Plastic surgeons can break bone, shave off or reshape the cartilage that makes up the lower two-thirds of the nose, even graft cartilage from other areas of the body onto the nose, but they are still limited by the nose's basic structure.
"I have to constantly communicate to the patient what are reasonable expectations," said Dr. Richard Fleming, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. "If somebody comes in with a huge Roman nose and they want a little turned up pug nose, you're not going to give
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