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Can facial plastic surgeons correctly estimate age from a photograph?

Can facial plastic surgeons correctly estimate age from a photograph?The lack of scientific tools to translate perceptions - such as more beautiful or rejuvenated - into numbers that can be analyzed is a challenge in the field of facial plastic surgery and it can get in the way of producing high-quality scientific publications.

A new article published online by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery sought to validate an evaluation method that could help define the perception of facial age in scientific studies.

Denis Souto Valente, M.D., of the Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, and coauthors enlisted plastic surgeons to evaluate 70 photographs of patients and write down the perceived age of patients.

As it turns out, three plastic surgeons can estimate the average perceived age of a person within 10 months of their chronological age by analyzing a photograph, the authors report.

"This article addresses an issue that is important to facial plastic surgeons and reveals how the results of rejuvenation procedures can be assessed," the study concludes.

The study has some limitations, including the method relies solely on subjectivity and the intuitions of specific plastic surgeons.
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