Many plastic and cosmetic surgeons show patients before and after pictures of certain procedures and may take pictures of the patient’s profile or prospective treatment area to map out what they can realistically work on. Some doctors are taking it to the next level by using computer imaging software that takes an image of the patient and transforms it into an “after” image using simulation technology.
A cosmetic surgeon in Michigan has introduced an innovative 3-D simulation system for prospective clients that works by “sculpting” the patient’s existing features into the more desirable profile. Dr. Brett Kotlus, a cosmetic surgeon at Allure Medical Spa in Shelby Township uses the Vectra 3-D system from Canfield Imaging Systems to capture an image of the face or body with 12 different cameras at a resolution of 36 megapixels.
Dr. Kotlus reports, “This 3-D system has a clever interface that constructs a realistic, modifiable image that can be sculpted in the same way that cosmetic surgery would sculpt a nose or a breast. Within minutes, we can see possible surgical results. In this scenario, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.” The system allows the surgeon to convey information more clearly, and also gives the patient a chance to request modifications or changes before going under the knife.
The patient can see their pictures next to a simulated version on a computer screen, and the doctor can explain all of the modifications and techniques they will use to achieve desired results. Ultimately, this type of technology allows patients to visualize outcomes and can create very life-like images.
Surgeons point out that simulating an image can make it much easier for the patient to set realistic expectations. This increases the satisfaction rate and can also reduce any apprehensions they may have about the surgery.