The Big Picture

Plastic surgery’s new imaging tool.

In this age of lasers and biotech cures, it’s baffling that reconstructive breast surgery is more art than science, at least when it comes to how much implant to add and how much tissue to take away. Standard procedure these days is to guesstimate by using pictures or stuffing the bra with implants of varying sizes. But that may change as 3dMD makes its way into more doctors’ offices in the months to come. Stand in front of this arched digital camera, and it will take three-dimensional photos in a split second and transmit them to the computer. The patient and doctor can then virtually add to and subtract from the image until both are satisfied. Afterward, 3dMD gives a volumetric reading of the resulting change–thereby offering the patient a better idea of what to expect and the doctor more exact dimensions to work with. Other possible applications coming up in the near future? Rhinoplasty and bra design. –J.C.

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