Q: i am going to have my chin shortened by cutting the bone, a procedure known as a vertical chin reduction. But I wanted to know something that is very important to me. After the surgery, the people that know me which i see everyday, will they see the difference in my face without me telling them? Will they know I have had some type of surgery? I am worried that they might say something like ‘Hey, what happened to your face?’ or something like that.
A: It is perfectly normal to assume that everyone that sees you after surgery will know exactly what you have had done. In reality, we give other people too much credit when it comes to perception. Most people, other than those who know us closely, see our faces in a more overall impression but not a lot of detail. Known as a facial gestalt, it is the image of our face people know, not the specific details. Therefore, after surgery people make see some difference (hopefully positive) but can not usually put their fingers on what was done. They will perceive that you look better, more refreshed, etc but they rarely can tell what part of the face was changed.
This is particularly true in anti-aging facial surgery (facelifts, eyelid tucks etc) but is also true in structural facial surgery. (rhinoplasty, otoplasty, facial implants, etc) Just because you know it doesn’t mean everyone else will. This is also because of another basic human characteristic….we are all more focused on ourselves than anyone else. Almost every human is more interested in how they look as opposed to how other people look.
Dr. Barry Eppley