American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Using digital imaging to help plan facial cosmetic surgery


The details discussed during the initial consultation for facial cosmetic surgery are the key to a successful outcome. Patients are usually uncertain how things may look once surgery is completed. Their appearance is very important to them. The face is the first thing people see when meeting someone and making a good first (or second or 10th) impression is very important. Having surgery and not knowing what to expect is enough to make anyone lose sleep. Thankfully, in today's high-tech world, top plastic surgeons have access to digital imaging software that can help patients to communicate their desires to their surgeons more effectively prior to facial cosmetic surgery. Digital imaging can be used for procedures such as cheek lifts, rhinoplasty and more.

Dr. Terrence Murphy, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Swedish Medical Center and head of Murphy Plastic Surgery in Denver, Colorado uses digital imaging software during the consultation process to help show potential patients what they can expect. "I place an emphasis on imaging as a communication tool," he says. "As the patient tells me things they are unhappy with we work together to see potential results." Going a step further, Dr. Murphy always insists on doing the imaging himself instead of one of his employees "because I can be sure that I am showing the patient only things which I feel that I can achieve."

Murphy Plastic Surgery uses imaging for a number of procedures and is "particularly useful in procedures which change the boney contour such as rhinoplasty and boney recontouring of the brow and mandible as well as cheek implants," says Dr. Murphy. "Any soft tissue changes are likely more adequately demonstrated by standing with the patient in a mirror and adjusting the soft tissues."

Being out front about results is of the upmost importance in top plastic surgery offices around the world and Dr. Murphy treats his patients with the respect they deserve. "The images we create are more of a goal for surgery than a guaranteed result. Patients find the time spent doing imaging quite reassuring and fulfilling," commented Dr. Murphy.

For more information, including a list of ASPS plastic surgeons in your community, please use our Find a Plastic Surgeon tool.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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