Objectives/Hypothesis: Medical imaging techniques have continually improved. However, measuring esthetic outcomes using conventional two-dimensional photography has inherent limitations visualizing in three dimensions such as the face.
Study Design: This study used three-dimensional imaging to visualize facial images preoperatively and postoperatively in patients undergoing Contour threadlift procedures.
Methods: In patients undergoing Contour threadlift placement for midfacial rejuvenation, we prospectively imaged and photographed patients preoperatively and postoperatively. From three-dimensional images, we measured three-axis vector movement of the facial soft tissue in millimeters. Three control subjects (n = 6, bilateral sides) who had not undergone any procedure were a control group to confirm stability of the images over time. Patients also completed a questionnaire regarding their results and overall experience.
Results: We studied 6 (n = 12, bilateral procedures) undergoing Contour thread placement. Analyzed images revealed a trend of midface soft tissue flattening of nasolabial contour over 3 months. Average nasolabial flattening or tightening was 2.3 mm (P > .05) in the Contour patient group. The flattening of the midfacial region returned to baseline postprocedure at 90 days. Three-dimensional imaging for the control subjects demonstrate less than 0.2 mm change (P < .05) in the nasolabial region weekly over a period of 3 weeks.
Conclusions: After 3 months, patients undergoing Contour thread placement had three-dimensional imaging measurements suggesting a return to baseline values. Three-dimensional imaging may increase accuracy in quantifying change after surgery specifically with contour differences; film and digital photography capture in only two dimensions. The use of three-dimensional imaging may be applicable to numerous clinical settings.