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Pitfalls of Nonstandardized Photography in Facial Plastic Surgery Patients

Sommer, Doron D. M.D.; Mendelsohn, Martyn M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July 2004 - Volume 114 - Issue 1 - p 10-14
doi: 10.1097/01.PRS.0000127791.31526.E2
Original Articles

The authors tested the hypothesis that certain maneuvers (neck flexion/extension and head protrusion/retrusion) alter the appearance of the submental area, jawline, and melolabial groove. They used a questionnaire survey of 20 naïve judges who assessed a standardized photograph album of three subjects. The subjects’ faces (frontal and lateral views) were photographed in neutral, neck flexion/extension, and head protrusion/retrusion positions. High Kendall coefficients of correlation were observed in 10 of 12 questions evaluating an improvement in jawline definition with neck extension or head protrusion, as well as in 11 of 12 questions assessing decreased submental soft tissue. All questions relating to the melolabial groove had a correlation coefficient of less than 0.70. Small changes in patient positioning during photodocumentation for facial plastic surgical procedures can cause dramatic changes in the appearance of certain parameters. Standardizing patient positioning for preoperative and postoperative photographs is imperative.

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; and Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

From the Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, McMaster University Medical Centre, and Department of Otolaryngology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Received for publication January 10, 2003; revised July 16, 2003.

Doron D. Sommer, M.D.

McMaster University Medical Centre, 3V1 Clinic, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z5, Canada, ddsommer@hotmail.com

©2004American Society of Plastic Surgeons