Three-Dimensional Imaging in Measuring Facial Aesthetic Outcomes

Authors

  • Samuel J. Lin MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
    • Samuel J. Lin, MD, Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 110 Francis Street, Suite 5A, Boston, MA 02215
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  • Neel Patel MD,

    1. Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
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  • Kristina O'Shaughnessy MD,

    1. Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
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  • Neil A. Fine MD

    1. Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
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  • None of the authors have commercial or financial interest in any of the products, devices, drugs, or procedures mentioned in this manuscript.

Abstract

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.

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