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plastic surgery app

From Virtual to Reality: The Potential of Plastic Surgery Apps

Amit Tawar Amit Tawar
Published: 22 Mar, 2023

Are you considering plastic surgery but hesitant to go through with it? What if there was a way to see what you might look like with a new nose or a slimmer waistline without committing to a surgical procedure? Plastic surgery apps have emerged as the latest trend in cosmetic enhancements as a result of the evolution of technology.

However, with the increasing popularity of these apps comes concerns about their accuracy and safety. Can a virtual simulation capture the complexities of a surgical procedure? And what about the potential psychological effects of constantly scrutinizing and altering one’s appearance?

In this blog, we will take a closer look at how virtual try on technology based plastic surgery apps and examine their potential benefits and risks. So, let us begin without any further ado.

What You Need to Know About Plastic Surgery Apps

What makes plastic surgery apps amazing is that they let the patients virtually try on features typically related to facial features like nose, lips chin, cheeks etc. Both patients and plastic surgeons can use these applications to research and prepare for plastic surgery operations.These apps are software applications made specifically for smartphones and tablets that offer tools and information on plastic surgery techniques.

Following are some of the significant features of the plastic surgery apps:

Procedure information: Many plastic surgery apps provide detailed information about what cosmetic surgery procedures include, the recovery process, risks, complications, and the expected outcome.

Before-and-after photos: The most significant advantage of using a plastic surgery app is that with the help of augmented reality and machine learning one can visualize the potential results of the different procedures and make an informed decision accordingly.

Consultation tools: Some apps provide virtual consultation tools allowing users to upload photos and receive advice from a cosmetic surgeon.

Find a surgeon: Users can now connect with the professionals nearby by using the directories of cosmetic surgeons and clinics available on the apps.

Education and resources: Educational resources like videos, articles, and blogs about cosmetic surgery procedures and related topics are also available on a few apps.

Understanding the Technology behind Plastic Surgery Apps

The Augmented Reality (AR) technology used in plastic surgery apps is typically based on markerless AR, which uses computer vision algorithms to identify and track the user’s facial features. This technology is often referred to as facial tracking or facial recognition. It allows the app to overlay virtual images onto the user’s face in real-time, giving them a realistic preview of what they might look like after cosmetic surgery. Some popular AR software development kits (SDKs) used in plastic surgery apps include ARKit (for iOS devices) and ARCore (for Android devices).

The technical workings of plastic surgery apps may vary depending upon the app, but there are certain common elements and technologies used. Here is a general overview of how plastic surgery apps work technically:

1. 3D Modeling

Once the image is captured, the app uses a 3D modeling technology called computer-aided design (CAD) to create a 3D model of the users’ body or face, which can then be manipulated by the plastic surgeon to simulate the potential results of a particular procedure. This can help both the surgeon and the patient to better understand the potential outcomes of a surgery and make more informed decisions about whether or not to proceed.

2. Simulation

A simulation accurately represents the potential outcomes of surgery. Using VR technology, several plastic surgery applications create lifelike models of the patient’s face or body providing patients with a better understanding of the treatment.Some of the plastic surgery apps also allows the patients to compare the potential results of different procedures side by side. Thus, giving them more clarity on the procedure.

3. Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a process that entails photographing an object or person from various angles and then using specialist software to produce a 3D model based on those images.This technology allows for the creation of incredibly accurate 3D representations of a patient’s face or body that can be used to imitate the effects of plastic surgery.

4. Customization: Many plastic surgery apps allow the user to customize the modifications, such as adjusting the size, shape, or placement of implants, or altering the contours of the face or body.

5. Consultation and Planning: Some plastic surgery apps also allow users to schedule consultations with the surgeons or to plan and visualize their procedure in more detail.
To understand the working of a plastic surgery app one must be familiar with the steps in which the app works. Here are the general steps in which these apps work:

1. User uploads a photo: The user uploads a photo of themselves on the app, which is the first and the foremost step towards virtual surgical modifications.

2. Image processing: The app processes the image with the help of its image processing algorithms to identify the key facial or body features such as the nose, chin or the breaks and map out the contours and proportions of the face or body.

3. Surgical Modification: The user then selects the type of surgical procedure they are interested in like rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, and uses the app’s editing tools to adjust the size, shape and position of the targeted features. The app makes use to the augmented reality technology to superimpose the modifications onto the user’s live camera feed.

4. Virtual preview: Once the user is satisfied with the virtual modifications, the app generates a new photo that shows the results on the user. The user can save or share this image with their family, friends and surgeons.

The Best Apps for Visualizing and Planning Your Cosmetic Procedure

Here are the best plastic surgery apps available in the market today:

1. iAugment

iAugment is an iphone app that allows users to visualize how they would look after undergoing a breast augmentation procedure. The app uses augmented reality technology to create a realistic simulation of the user’s body, which can then be manipulated to show how different sizes and shapes of breast implants would look. iAugment has an extensive database of breast implant sizes and shapes, which allows users to explore a wide range of options and find the best fit for their body type. The app also includes a cost estimator that allows users to estimate the cost of the procedure based on their location.

2. Modiface

Modiface is a virtual try-on platform allowing users to try different cosmetic products and visualize the results before purchasing. The platform uses advanced augmented reality technology to create a realistic simulation of the user’s face, which can then be manipulated to try on various makeup and skincare products. Modiface also offers a virtual try-on feature for certain cosmetic procedures, such as facial fillers, hair restoration and Botox injections. This feature allows users to visualize how the procedure would affect their appearance and make more informed decisions about pursuing it. Modiface also allows users to customize their virtual simulations, including adjusting the intensity and placement of the procedure. This allows users to experiment with different options and find the best results for their needs.

3. RealSelf

RealSelf is a plastic surgery app that enables users to seek recommendations from board-certified plastic surgeons regarding the best procedures to achieve their desired celebrity look. Additionally, the app offers a virtual try-on feature for specific procedures. To use this feature, users must select the procedure they want and upload a photo of the targeted area for modification. RealSelf then creates a 3D model of the user’s face or body using augmented reality technology and superimposes the potential results of the procedure on the photo. Users can adjust the virtual try-on to view different angles and outcomes and share the images with friends or family to obtain their opinions.

4. TouchMD

TouchMD is a plastic surgery app that offers a virtual try-on technology feature, which allows patients to see how they might look after various cosmetic procedures. The virtual try-on feature uses augmented reality technology to create an image of the patient’s face or body, which can be modified to show the potential results of cosmetic surgery procedures.

Patients can experiment with different procedures using the virtual try-on feature in TouchMD, including breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and liposuction. Patients can try different implant sizes and shapes, experiment with different nose shapes and sizes, or visualize the effect of liposuction on their bodies. By doing so, patients can better understand what they might look like after the procedure and make more informed decisions about their treatment plans. TouchMD also provides pre-and post-operative care instructions to patients, including information on how to prepare for surgery and care for themselves after the procedure.

5. Zwivel

Zwivel is a plastic surgery app that allows users to upload a photo of themselves and simulate various cosmetic procedures. The app uses advanced facial recognition technology to create a 3D model of the user’s face, which can then be manipulated to show what the person might look like after a specific procedure. Users must first upload a clear photo of their face or body area they want to modify. The app then analyzes the image to create a 3D model that the user or a plastic surgeon can adjust. The user can then choose from a list of procedures, such as rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, or liposuction, and see how their appearance would change after the process is done.

Potential Risks and Drawbacks of Using Plastic Surgery Apps

Using plastic surgery apps to alter appearance can appear to be highly tempting; however, there are several potential risks and drawbacks associated with the usage of these apps:

1. Unrealistic expectations: By using these apps, users tend to fall under the risk of developing unrealistic expectations for their appearance giving rise to disappointment and dissatisfaction.

2. Misleading Results: Plastic surgery apps fail to represent a person’s appearance post-surgery realistically. This can lead to false expectations for those thinking of going under the knife.

3. Psychological effects: Altering one’s appearance via apps can lead to poor body image and mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

4. Encourages and normalizes plastic surgery: The widespread use of plastic surgery apps can encourage people to undergo surgery even when it is not required.

5. Privacy concerns: Users need to upload their photos to the app’s server to simulate changes; this can raise concerns regarding security issues and potential data misuse.

Therefore, plastic surgery apps may be entertaining and convenient to use; however, citing these risks and drawbacks, one must use them carefully.

Conclusion: How Reliable Are the Results of Plastic Surgery Simulation Apps?

The reliability of plastic surgery apps depends on various factors, like the quality and accuracy of the software, the user’s expertise, and individual differences. While these apps provide a general idea of the results after a specific procedure, the users must remember that they can not accurately predict the actual outcomes.


1. Software: The quality of the software, its accuracy, and the input images affect the reliability of the simulation apps. High-quality apps with advanced imaging technology and images will provide more accurate results than ordinary manipulation tools.

2. User Expertise: The expertise of the app user also determines the results. These apps are only reliable when the users are familiar with the app’s tools and can make realistic adjustments. Someone with little experience and less familiarity with the tools may need help to produce accurate results.

3. Individual differences: Plastic surgery apps can provide only an estimate of what the outcome might look like. It cannot consider individual anatomy, skin type, and healing ability differences, which can impact the final results.

Despite these concerns, plastic surgery simulation apps can still be valuable for individuals considering cosmetic procedures. They can allow individuals to explore their options and communicate their goals with their surgeons. However, it is essential to realize that the simulation does not guarantee the final result and that the decision to undergo surgery should be based on a realistic understanding of the procedure’s potential risks, benefits, and limitations.

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Amit Tawar Author :
Amit Tawar

Front-End Developer. Check out more on Linkedin.

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