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Tips for Better Rhinoplasty Patient Photos


Study examines documentation of nasal deformity in lighting from above compared with standard anterolateral lighting.

Rhinoplasty requires both artistic and surgical skill, and lighting is critical to surgical planning and documentation, as the author of a recent study points out in “Rhinoplasty Photography: Lighting from Above Improves Visualization of Deviations and Irregularities,” just published in Facial Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Medicine.

Swiss physician Abel-Jan Tasman conducted the study based on his hypothesis that creating more natural lighting for presurgical and postsurgical patient photos would better reveal irregularities and deviations of the nose than the standard anterolateral lighting typically used.

Tasman’s randomized, controlled study included 40 consecutive rhinoplasty patients. Each was photographed using two different lighting methods: First, anterolateral lighting created with two studio strobe lights and diffusor boxes; second, lighting from above.

In all, there were 40 sets of cropped photos of the anterior view of the nose that were evaluated on a 5-point Likert scale by 10 lay judges for degree of irregularity or deviation. They scored deviations/irregularities higher in 75% of the patients with lighting from above compared with 17.5% of those with anterolateral lighting. A total of 7.5% of patients had equal ratings in both lighting scenarios.

Overall, results revealed nasal deformity was significantly more apparent in the lighting from above group compared with standard anterolateral lighting. Tasman concludes that documenting rhinoplasty is more effective by adding lighting from above.

Related: Healing Challenges After Facial Rejuvenation


Tasman AJ. Rhinoplasty Photography: Lighting from Above Improves Visualization of Deviations and Irregularities. Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2020; epub ahead of print.

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