Researchers Create Advanced 3D Tool to Predict Cosmetic Surgery Results

Brook Flagg

by Brook Flagg | February 21, 2011 @ 08:00AM

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A Tel Aviv University researcher, Alex Bronstein, M.D., recently unveiled a 3D imaging tool designed to help cosmetic surgeons predict the procedural outcomes of patients. He developed the software as an attempt to show patients a more accurate, realistic surgical result, and to help surgeons attain the most favorable outcomes possible for the benefit of their patients.

According to Bronstein, the program was designed with the aid of numerous pre-surgery and post-surgery images, which were fed into a computer to "teach" it to more accurately generate post-surgery images. Other variables, such as the patients' ages and different tissue types, are also factored into the data that generates the after-surgery image created by the software.

While 3D imaging has been used by cosmetic surgeons to predict outcomes for several years, the technology of this tool is more advanced than in previous incarnations. “Our program is more like a virtual mirror,” Bronstein has said. “It gives surgeons and their patients a way to see a 3D before-and-after image as though the patient has really undergone the operation.”

Along with two colleagues, the Tel Aviv University researcher utilized a complicated mathematical formula in computer modeling to predict “deformations” of non-rigid objects. Because common photographic equipment can only “see” and represent the body from a single angle, Bronstein and fellow researchers created a unique algorithm that integrates multiple 2D images into a single computer program to produce a 3D output. The result is a tool that can generate an anatomically accurate post-surgery image.

Currently, the product is un-named and is still under commercial development. As 3D technology continues to move toward the mainstream, Bronstein predicts that similar tools will become even more accessible, affordable, and powerful over the next several years.

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