Selfies And Surgery: How Phones And Rhinoplasty Mix

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Considering rhinoplasty? Bay Area facial plastic surgeons Dr. David Lieberman and Dr. Sachin Parikh encourage anyone looking for a smaller nose to schedule a consultation with a board-certified physician to get personalized advice not available from a smartphone.

A research letter published in March by the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery revealed that visual distortion caused by selfies taken a foot away from the face can make a person’s nose appear up to 30 percent larger than it really is. Why is this something to keep in mind?

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported in early 2018 that more than half (55 percent) of facial plastic surgeons said their patients cited looking better in selfies as a motivator for choosing to get a procedure. While all plastic surgery decisions are personal, Drs. Lieberman and Parikh emphasize the importance of prospective patients getting multiple perspectives—literally and figuratively—when pursuing a cosmetic change.

Rhinoplasty should not be merely about making a big nose smaller, even if a reduction in size is the sole or primary goal. As the most prominent feature on the face, a nose serves as a visual focal point and can define a silhouette. For these reasons and more, any changes made to the nose should allow it to balance and harmonize with the eyes, mouth, cheeks, chin, forehead, and ears.

This is where working with an experienced and board-certified facial plastic surgeon is imperative. A properly trained plastic surgeon devoted to facial aesthetics will have a unique perspective on facial ratios and other nuances unavailable to more generalized surgeons.

For example, if a plastic surgeon fails to take facial balance into account, operating only from a patient’s desire for a nose to look, say, 30 percent smaller, the resulting nose may still not suit the face. It may appear too narrow or may awkwardly draw attention to other features.

One of the best ways to discover whether a plastic surgeon is capable of refined, quality work is to arrange a consultation at the practice.

During a consultation, a qualified facial plastic surgeon will ask questions in order to better understand the driving motivations behind the decision for surgery—as well a patient’s ultimate aesthetic goals. While the person undergoing the surgical procedure has the freedom to choose what he or she wants for the face, an ideal facial plastic surgeon will serve not as a tool to execute cosmetic commands, but a guide who will help steer patients toward results that will best suit them.

As a part of this process, plastic surgeons can share before-and-after photos to demonstrate the types of results available, which can be helpful for envisioning an ultimate look—especially for patients of similar facial shapes. Some doctors even use digital applications to manipulate a patient’s image and project potential results.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to rhinoplasty, so at minimum, a plastic surgeon should examine the patient’s face and explain what changes are intended through surgery. If something is not clear or seems confusing, ask about it.

Above all, patients should feel confident in their choice for a rhinoplasty or any plastic surgery. There should be open communication and a rapport between them and the surgeon, as well as a thorough understanding of what the procedure can and will not do. Realistic expectations and knowledge of details go a long way toward bolstering patient satisfaction in the long run.

In other words, wanting to look better in selfies is a valid reason to choose plastic surgery. Just remember that anyone who holds their phone in front of their face and clicks the button for the front-facing camera—but doesn’t like the resulting self-portrait—has a wealth of information about change available and should take advantage of it by researching facial plastic surgeons to find the one who is experienced, talented, committed to safety, and a good fit.

Find out more about rhinoplasty and other facial plastic surgery options from San Francisco Bay Area facial plastic surgeons Dr. David Lieberman and Dr. Sachin Parikh, serving Palo Alto, San Jose, and beyond. Call (650) 327-3232 or visit fortheface