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Pioneering virtual reality software enables cosmetic surgery patients to try before they buy

PUBLISHED: 11:18 09 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:19 09 December 2016

Archant

Have you ever wondered what your favourite celebrity’s best features would look like on you? From Kate Middleton’s nose to Keira Knightley’s eyes, a leading cosmetic surgery clinic is now using state-of-the-art 3D simulation technology and virtual reality to show their clients the results of their chosen surgery, before they go under the knife.

The Bella Vou cosmetic surgery clinic in Tunbridge Wells has introduced the pioneering virtual reality technology which provides a 3D simulation that is 97% accurate of patients’ post-surgery results. During a consultation, the software allows the surgeon to scan the patient’s body from all angles and produce a 3D full-body image showing how their chosen procedure will look.

Amir Nakhdjevani, lead consultant plastic surgeon at Bella Vou, said: “Many clients come to us with a name or photo of a particular celebrity and say ‘I want to look like this’. With the latest 3D simulation software, we can produce images which show the client how they will look after surgery from all angles. With the aid of a virtual reality headset our patients can see the results of their surgery in a 3D setting, and they can take an image file or print out away with them to help inform their decision.

“We even receive images over social media from prospective patients, who want to see a simulation of their potential results before they commit time to a consultation.

“The 3D simulations are 97% accurate in reflecting the client’s post-surgery results. It’s a really useful tool for helping patients to make an informed decision about whether a particular procedure will suit them, although of course it’s a simulation and not a guarantee of the results.”

Bella Vou has seen demand for rhinoplasty procedures, commonly referred to as a “nose job”, surge by 19% during the past year. The most popular requests are for surgery to emulate the look of the Duchess of Cambridge.

Mr Nakhdjevani continued: “We are performing more rhinoplasty procedures than ever before, largely due to the popularity of Kate Middleton’s nose. Kate is believed to have a perfect nose and she has a look that inspires many people to think about their facial features and how they’d like to improve their own appearance.

“With the 3D software, for the first time we’re now able to show our clients how they will look after a particular procedure and set realistic expectations. Sometimes patients realise that a feature they hold in high aesthetic regard doesn’t actually suit their face. It’s very important to consider these issues before committing to surgery.

“Of course, people’s faces are made up of different facial characteristics and sometimes we have to explain that the procedure they want won’t give the results they are looking for. Clients may desperately desire Kate Middleton’s nose or lips like Penelope Cruz, but where that’s not possible or won’t suit their face shape and features, we work with them to find a compromise that will give them a natural, achievable result that they are happy with.”

Rhinoplasty remains one of the most popular procedures performed in the UK. Innovative cosmetic techniques mean that whether patients feel their nose is too big or too small, plastic surgeons are now able to carry out more complex treatments to help them achieve the look they want. The two hour procedure costs around £4,250 and patients are fully recovered within two to three weeks.

In most cases, bone and cartilage are removed or shaved down to either shrink the appearance of parts of the nose or to widen the breathing passages. In a few cases cartilage or bone removed from one area might be used to build up another area to improve the shape or symmetry of the nose.

Amir continued: “Many people are interested in getting cosmetic surgery, but wonder whether a procedure like a facelift, breast augmentation or nose job would really suit them. Virtual reality and 3D imaging is really exciting because it offers patients and surgeons a chance to really consider how a cosmetic procedure will affect their appearance before they agree to surgery.”

To see a video demonstration of the 3D simulation software please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPtm9UUV5NY

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