"I don't feel comfortable enough with the accuracy of depicted results to use imaging software in my practice at this point," says Dr. Smith, who performs cosmetic surgery in Orange County (http://www.asmithmd.com/
Plastic surgery imaging software digitally alters patient photographs, either brought in by the patient or taken by the doctor in the office, to simulate the "after" results of cosmetic surgery. These systems can be used to simulate the results of a variety of surgeries including facelifts, breast augmentation, and Orange County liposuction (http://www.asmithmd.com/
"Although I use some of the most advanced technologies when actually performing plastic surgery, I prefer a simple, straightforward approach when it comes to understanding what a patient wants – an open dialogue," explains Dr. Smith. "During the consultation, I take the time to get to know my patients and understand why they are considering plastic surgery. I also ask them to bring in photographs of people who have the features they'd like to have themselves."
The types of surgery a doctor commonly performs also can influence how valuable computer imaging is as a resource. Traditionally, surgeons who perform a high number of nose surgeries (rhinoplasties)
"From talking with my patients, I can develop a clear understanding of their aesthetic goals and also explain what can realistically be accomplished for them with cosmetic surgery," says Dr. Smith. "A computer-generated picture might be a useful starting point in some cases, but shouldn't take the place of open doctor-patient communication."