Facial Plast Surg 2016; 32(01): 088-094
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1570122
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Three-Dimensional Surface Imaging and the Continuous Evolution of Preoperative and Postoperative Assessment in Rhinoplasty

Garyfalia Lekakis
1   Department of ENT, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Peter Claes
2   Department of Electrical Engineering, Medical Image Computing, Leuven, Belgium
Grant S. Hamilton III
3   Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
P. W. Hellings
1   Department of ENT, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
10 February 2016 (online)


During the preoperative assessment in rhinoplasty, the surgeon takes a thorough history, performs a complete examination by assessing functional and aesthetic aspects of the nose, obtains a clear understanding of the patient's wishes, conducts facial analysis based on standardized photography, and communicates to the patient the goals and pitfalls of surgery. Computer imaging or morphing of the preoperative pictures of the nose has drawn a lot of interest in the last decade, and it is a sign of evolution of the preoperative consultation. Technological advances, also in the context of rhinoplasty, have led to the development of three-dimensional (3D) imaging techniques, and have completely revolutionized the way that surgeons manage their patients preoperatively and evaluate postoperative results today. The accurate 3D surface imaging aids the surgeon to communicate with the patient adequately before surgery, to set an appropriate surgical plan, and to measure the shape and volume changes of the patient's nose that result from the intervention. The present review provides an analysis on the current knowledge of 3D surface imaging in rhinoplasty derived from the literature, and highlights future directions of preoperative and postoperative assessment in the field.