Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 1, 2005 - Volume 116 - Issue 3 > Applications of Virtual Reality in Aesthetic Surgery
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000176901.37684.8a
Cosmetic Section: Cosmetic Articles: Cosmetic: Cosmetic

Applications of Virtual Reality in Aesthetic Surgery

Smith, Darren M. M.D.; Aston, Sherrell J. M.D.; Cutting, Court B. M.D.; Oliker, Aaron M.S.

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Background: Virtual reality has a long history in plastic and reconstructive surgery, with uses ranging from anatomical demonstration to craniofacial surgical planning. The purpose of this article is to add to the literature a computer graphics–based resource for aesthetic surgery.

Methods: Deformation tools, virtual cameras, and other components of Alias's Maya 4.0 were used to perform virtual surgical procedures on a detailed model of superficial facial anatomy. This three-dimensional model of superficial facial anatomy, derived from the National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project, was also “aged” in Maya at key depths of anatomical dissection. Adobe's After Effects 5.5 was used for animation postproduction work for all animations.

Results: Three-dimensional computer animations were developed to illustrate techniques in aesthetic surgery. Another animation was created that simulates facial aging at various levels of anatomical dissection.

Conclusions: Computer modeling and animation have the potential to play an important role in education, surgical planning, development, and other aspects of aesthetic surgery.

©2005American Society of Plastic Surgeons


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