Many patients, after plastic surgery, will say that they were surprised their friends or family members did not notice that they had a procedure. They say these individuals had a hard time pinpointing what was ‘different.’ Often heard are questions such as “Did you lose weight? Did you get a haircut? or Did you change your makeup?”. Your friends know you look better but don’t know exactly what.
There are several reasons why your friends, hopefully, cannot pinpoint the exact change. First of all, there is actually a psychologic name for this phenomenon, called ‘change blindness.’ Change blindness is based on the idea that the brain does not have a precise memory, but a temporary one that cannot detect change, when the overall information remains the same. For example, studies have found that participants did not notice a test subject’s change of clothing when they left and then reentered a room. This phenomenon can often be comforting to those undergoing rhinoplasty, or other procedures. Many patients do not want their friends of family to immediately identify them as “post plastic surgery”. When a patient is seen after plastic surgery, there before is just a memory, making change blindness more effective.
It is not uncommon for many of Dr. Shah’s patients to ask “to look the same but different”. A natural, harmonious result coupled with the phenomenon of change blindness can lead to lots of compliments without the conspicuousness of having had plastic surgery.