Skip Navigation LinksHome > November 2003 - Volume 112 - Issue 6 > Symmetrical Breast Reconstruction: Is There a Role for Three...
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/01.PRS.0000085818.54980.C4
Original Articles

Symmetrical Breast Reconstruction: Is There a Role for Three-Dimensional Digital Photography?

Nahabedian, Maurice Y. M.D.; Galdino, Gregory M.D.

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Abstract

Clinical applications of three-dimensional digital photography include assessments of breast volume and contour. It was hypothesized that knowledge of preoperative and postoperative breast volumes might facilitate obtaining symmetry after reconstructions with autologous tissue or implants. Breast reconstruction was performed for 382 women during a 4-year period. Of those women, 334 completed all phases of the reconstruction and underwent symmetry analysis. Reconstructive procedures included the use of pedicle transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flaps, free transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flaps, deep inferior epigastric perforator flaps, superior gluteal artery perforator flaps, or latissimus dorsi flaps or expanders/implants. Three-dimensional digital photographic images were obtained for 33 women, whereas the remaining 301 women were not digitally photographed. The differences in symmetry after the initial reconstruction and after the secondary procedures were compared for all women and for the groups with and without three-dimensional photographic images. For the group with three-dimensional imaging, initial volume symmetry was obtained for 73 percent, initial contour symmetry was obtained for 27 percent, secondary procedures were necessary for 70 percent, final volume symmetry was obtained for 88 percent, and final contour symmetry was obtained for 79 percent. For the group without three-dimensional photographic images, initial volume symmetry was obtained for 57 percent, initial contour symmetry was obtained for 34 percent, secondary procedures were necessary for 50 percent, final volume symmetry was obtained for 80 percent, and final contour symmetry was obtained for 71 percent. The results demonstrated that there was no significant difference in final contour and volume symmetry between women who had or did not have three-dimensional digital photographic images taken. However, the results demonstrated that autologous tissue reconstructions resulted in improved contour and volume symmetry, compared with implant reconstructions.

©2003American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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