Local News

Morphing Shows New Face Of Plastic Surgery

Posted December 12, 2002

— Plastic surgeons say it is difficult for them to know exactly what their patients want. A process called morphing is helping doctors show patients what they will really look like after surgery.

Dr. Michael Zenn, a plastic surgeon at Duke Medical Center, uses the morphing computer program to help his patients see what they will look like.

"Used in the right way, it's an incredibly valuable tool," said Zenn.

Zenn said it helps him understand what the patients really want, while changes can still be made.

"If the patient says 'you know, that's not exactly what I was thinking, I was thinking this,' that's the time to find out. Before," he said.

Many plastic surgeons are using morphing in pre-surgical consultations because they said it gives patients a realistic picture of what they can do for them.

"If that's not what I deliver at the end, it can be very misleading," said Zenn. "If that patient's not happy, no one's happy."

Zenn said when he was in training, plastic surgeons had to take art classes so they could draw what they thought patients wanted to have done.

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