Three-Dimensional Imaging as a Novel Approach to Breast Cancer Reconstruction


Today surgical planning in reconstruction of female breast cancer patients is limited by the inability of plastic surgeons to define the necessary volume, shape and contour of the breast. A novel approach to breast cancer reconstruction is three-dimensional imaging, which has gained popularity in an array of industries. Three-dimensional (3D) images of a patient’s breasts enable a surgeon to not only visually assess the size, shape, contour, and symmetry of the breasts, but also to obtain quantitative breast measurements and make volumetric calculations. The following study is a preliminary analysis of female patient volunteers undergoing unilateral tissue-expander/implant reconstruction by one of two senior authors. 3D images were obtained during routine preoperative and postoperative office visits and served as a guide by the surgeon for surgical planning. Twelve patients have completed 3D assisted unilateral breast reconstruction to date. Overall breast symmetry improved at the completion of reconstruction in the majority of patients. Average postoperative symmetry was 95% as compared to 88% preoperatively. With 3D images plastic surgeons are able to objectively assess their patient, which is an improvement to the current surgical planning that utilizes subjective two-dimensional images and visual estimates.