If you're thinking about cosmetic surgery,
you may be spending extra time with a mirror
-- imagining, wondering, pulling, pushing and
turning side to side. It's difficult to accurately
visualize how your appearance might change after
surgery. And while you may have a very clear
idea of what you want, what's surgically achievable
may be different. That's why it's so important
to find a plastic surgeon who listens to you
and with whom you have a good rapport.
One of the newest tools in the plastic surgeon's
office is sophisticated computer software used
to simulate surgery's effects. While the surgeon
may know quite accurately what he or she can
do, the picture in your mind may be completely
different. Using a digital camera, the surgeon
will take your photo, then load it into the
computer. With the software and a high-resolution
monitor, he or she will alter your image on
the screen to give you a fairly good prediction
of the surgery's results.
Think you want to have your eyes done? The
computer can show your image without dark circles
or bags, crow's-feet or the excess skin partially
covering your upper lids.
If you're thinking about laser skin resurfacing
to reduce facial wrinkles and fine lines, the
computer software can blend skin tones, soften
your skin and reduce bothersome lines.
Does gravity's pull dominate what you see in
the mirror? With computer imaging, you can see
yourself without jowls and a sagging and wrinkled
neck. Or you can get a glimpse of what you might
look like with the lower part of your face lifted
A digital photo is unforgiving. It's not the
sort of picture you'd want in the family album.
However, if you're thinking about cosmetic surgery,
you will want to be as honest as possible with
yourself about what you may want to change.
With a computer-altered image, you'll have a
more realistic view of the changes that are
While even the most sophisticated computer
software can not give you an actual three-dimensional
view, it does give you common ground to talk
with your surgeon about your expectations of
surgery. You may decide that you're more satisfied
with your face than you thought!