How Accurate Is Computer Imaging Of The Face With Actual Surgical Outcomes?

Q: Dr. Eppley, How accurate is computer imaging of the face in regards to the final outcomes achieved?

A: The role of computer imaging in facial surgery is frequently misunderstood by patients. Computer imaging is done to help determine what the patient’s aesthetic goals are. It is a method of interactive visual communication to help your surgeon understand what your specific facial reshaping goals are. It is not necessarily a completely accurate predictor of the final outcome nor is it intended to be. In facial structural (bone) surgery it is a critical part of the preoperative workup because the patient is going to a look that they have never had and I have to know what exact look they are trying to achieve. Conversely In facial rejuvenative (soft tissue) surgery, computer imaging is less frequently done or of great value because the patient’s goals are well known as they are just trying to go back to achieve a look they are already know. (look younger) In addition such soft tissue facial imaging is prone to shape and shadowing distortions that introduce limitations to any visual value that it has.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana