The Aesthetic Guide is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

How digital technologies could impact the future of cosmetic surgery

Article-How digital technologies could impact the future of cosmetic surgery

Key iconKey Points

  • The body is essentially a three-dimensional form, yet surgeons who are challenged to reconstruct, augment or assess some physical feature have long been limited by the confines of a two-dimensional medium for their own planning as well as their patients' aesthetic decision making.

The body is essentially a three-dimensional form, yet surgeons who are challenged to reconstruct, augment or assess some physical feature have long been limited by the confines of a two-dimensional medium for their own planning as well as their patients' aesthetic decision making.



But 3-D imaging technology is changing all of that, offering limitless digital perspectives of existing physical forms and simulations of their post-operative appearance.

And when it comes to the most popular of cosmetic procedures, breast augmentation, 3-D imaging represents a particularly valuable tool for surgeons who find themselves challenged in communicating and planning for procedures. The latest 3-D imaging system from Canfield Imaging Systems, Breast Sculptor, addresses that problem.

BREAST PREVIEW

The software application allows surgeons to simulate the results of breast augmentation or lift procedures using the patient's own 3-D image as a base. Once the photos are taken with a unique six-lens photo system, the physician can select from the complete catalogues of major gel or saline implant suppliers and have the result of those implants simulated on the patient's image and displayed on a Vectra system screen.

In addition, the system calculates volume measurements that give the physician an idea of the amount of asymmetry prior to surgery.



"The system allows us to basically perform a virtual surgery on the patient by simulating results using the exact manufacturers' implants onto the patient's own image," says Allen Rosen, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Montclair, N.J., who had been using the Breast Sculptor system for about six weeks.

"The patients can essentially try the implants on digitally," he says. "We can rotate the images in an infinite number of ways in order for the patient to see how the implants will look," he says.

Dr. Rosen says he still performs the other procedures, such as taking his own measurements and having the patient try gel plant sizers to get a feel of the implant, but the imaging provides the patient with better communication on what they are buying in to.

"This helps us talk to patients about exactly what their needs are," he says. "The gel implants that patients try on in the office may give some idea, but with the imaging, there are fewer discrepancies, and that's a key part of having a happy patient."

There is one caveat, however — the more life-like imaging systems are, the more important it is for physicians to communicate to the patient that the image is only a simulation and it is not a guarantee of the outcome.

"We still caution patients that real-life soft tissue and other things can change and no imaging system can be exact," Dr. Rosen says. "You want to let patients know that this is not a guarantee — always under promise and over deliver."

The Breast Sculptor system is sold as a full, turn-key operation for about $45,000, and physicians already using Canfield's Vectra imaging system can upgrade to Breast Sculptor for about $5,000, a company spokesperson tells Cosmetic Surgery Times .

The company has other feature-specific 3-D systems in the works. Face Sculptor, for instance, will offer 3-D imaging to give patients receiving facial cosmetic procedures simulated results.


Hide comments
account-default-image

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish