Planning of Rhinoplasty and the Benefits of 3D Imaging

Vectra XT - 3d Face & Body Imaging
Vectra XT system

When it comes to planning for rhinoplasty and facial surgery, facial region photography is an essential component of the treatment because it provides a clear visual representation of the area of concern. Photography may capture subtle asymmetries and deformities of the patient’s face and body, which can then be identified, evaluated and discussed. Other common operations that can be virtually simulated are mentoplasty (chin surgery), breast surgery and breast augmentation.

Photographs aid in the communication process between the surgeon and the patient. The patient can communicate to the surgeon their areas of concern, their expectations and the desired result. Whereas the surgeon can in turn inform the patient about the possibilities and the extent of surgery required to achieve and meet the expectations of the patient. Multiple-view photographs capture different angles of the patient’s face, which again assists in recording and visualising the areas of concern before and after surgery.

Medical Photography

A crucial factor to keep in mind is the quality of the photographs. Photographs need to be taken in carefully controlled environments where variables such as light are monitored, this minimises the occurrence of distortions and the resultant photographs are as close to reality as possible.

Selfies, which are photographs taken from arm’s length, distort the proportions of the face. Parts of the face or the body which are close to the camera lenses appear to be amplified and often appear larger than they actually are. Features such as the nose, or the tip of the nose commonly appear larger in selfies.

Facial Surgery - face sculptor nose & chin
Simulations (left: before, centre: after rhinoplasty, right: after rhinoplasty + genioplasty)

Vectra 3D Imaging

Computer simulation are useful to demonstrate to the patient what is realistic and achievable with the patient’s areas of concern. This technology gives patients and doctors the opportunity to discuss the required changes. However, the patient must remember that computer imaging is a prediction based tool, and is not an actual representation of the final outcome. Variances in the computer generated images and reality will occur. Imaging is employed as an educational tool that does not guarantee results.

Pre-operative simulation employs the use of 3-D imaging to perform a detailed assessment of the patient’s features and simulate accurate surgical changes. The generated simulation allows the surgeon to interact with the three dimensional model whilst the patient can see the modifications in real time as they are executed step by step.

Facial Surgery Photography - Automated Measurements
  • The simulator scans the face of the patient to generate a 3D image. This process takes only a few minutes.
  • The 3D scan is converted into a 3D simulation of the patient’s face which is then displayed on the screen.
  • Detailed assessment and measurements can be obtained and demonstrated on screen. It is particularly helpful to identify areas of concern.
  • The virtual simulation software has different tools to apply gradual changes to different parts of the patient’s anatomy. It allows for personalised planning that is based on each patient’s unique features.
  • Finally, before and after images can be displayed side to side and on multiple angles.

Combined Procedures

If the operation combines two different procedures, the surgeon may also be able to display simulation results of the combined treatment.

Patient safety and satisfaction is taken very seriously by me and my team. We are committed to offer you excellent care throughout your treatment journey and achieve great results. I hope that this blog has been useful and has given you more information about the factors associated with rhinoplasty. Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and book an appointment.

Dr Rodrigo is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Melbourne. He is interested in Aesthetic Surgery, Rhinoplasty and Facial Surgery.

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