A simple and inexpensive method of preoperative computer imaging for rhinoplasty

Christopher J. Ewart, Christopher J. Leonard, J. Garrett Harper, Jack C Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Goals/Purpose: Despite concerns of legal liability, preoperative computer imaging has become a popular tool for the plastic surgeon. The ability to project possible surgical outcomes can facilitate communication between the patient and surgeon. It can be an effective tool in the education and training of residents. Unfortunately, these imaging programs are expensive and have a steep learning curve. The purpose of this paper is to present a relatively inexpensive method of preoperative computer imaging with a reasonable learning curve. Materials and Methods: The price of currently available imaging programs was acquired through an online search, and inquiries were made to the software distributors. Their prices were compared to Adobe PhotoShop, which has special filters called "liquify" and "photocopy." It was used in the preoperative computer planning of 2 patients who presented for rhinoplasty at our institution. Projected images were created based on harmonious discussions between the patient and physician. Importantly, these images were presented to the patient as potential results, with no guarantees as to actual outcomes. Results: Adobe PhotoShop can be purchased for $900-5800 less than the leading computer imaging software for cosmetic rhinoplasty. Effective projected images were created using the "liquify" and "photocopy" filters in PhotoShop. Both patients had surgical planning and operations based on these images. They were satisfied with the results. Conclusions: Preoperative computer imaging can be a very effective tool for the plastic surgeon by providing improved physician-patient communication, increased patient confidence, and enhanced surgical planning. Adobe PhotoShop is a relatively inexpensive program that can provide these benefits using only 1 or 2 features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-49
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Computer imaging
  • Photography
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'A simple and inexpensive method of preoperative computer imaging for rhinoplasty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this