Participants in a web-based survey who viewed pictures of patients before and after rhinoplasty rated patients after surgery as more attractive, successful and overall healthier, in an article published by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Rhinoplasty is one of the most common facial plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States but few studies have looked that the impact of rhinoplasty on social perceptions.

In the study by Lisa E. Ishii, M.D., M.S.H., of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and her coauthors, 473 casual observers completed a survey that included images of 13 unique patients before and after surgery, although survey participants were unaware of patients’ surgery status. No more than one photograph of the same patient was used. Most of the survey participants were white, women and had four-year college degrees.

Survey results showed patients after rhinoplasty had higher average attractiveness scores, higher average perceived success scores and higher average perceived overall health scores, according to the study.

Limitations of the study include that the results do not reflect the spectrum of rhinoplasty surgical outcomes because the images used represented only optimal rhinoplasty outcomes. The study also does not reflect patients’ self-perceived change.

“These findings propose that patients experience an improvement in social interactions stemming from the positive effect of rhinoplasty surgery on observer perceptions. Furthermore, these results may improve physician-patient discussions about rhinoplasty surgery by providing a reference for an optimal outcome. However, variability in surgical outcomes must be considered when establishing surgical expectations and considering the effect on social perceptions,” the article concludes.