Background: Historically, torso obesity has been difficult to quantify. Digital technology has recently encroached into body contouring surgery but has not been developed by surgeons to aid with their anatomical mandates.
Methods: For 3 years, the authors tested a three-dimensional digital body camera that used nonintrusive white light phase profilometry to produce a “point cloud” image of the subject. The result of the 2-minute scan process was an accurate three-dimensional body model of the subject, consisting of over 1.2 million surface points. The point cloud was compressed to provide programmable measurement extraction profiles that automatically extracted linear and circumferential measurements. Subjects were scanned and anthropometrically measured preoperatively and at 3, 6, and 9 months postoperatively. Seven circumferential measures (waist, hips, abdomen, bilateral thighs, and bilateral knees) were collected.
Results: Fifty-two lipoabdominoplasty subjects participated in this pilot project. Lin's correlation coefficient was used to compare concordance between camera scan and anthropometric measurements and to compare the camera's reliability. When Lin's correlation coefficient was applied to our data, the composite Lin's correlation coefficient comparisons between the camera and anthropometric measurements were 0.9663 ± 0.0035 preoperatively and 0.9634 ± 0.0027 postoperatively. Anthropometric hip, waist, abdominal, and thigh circumferences all correlated closely with digital white light technology preoperatively (waist, 0.8602; hip, 0.6705; and abdomen, 0.8033) and improved at 6 months postoperatively (waist, 0.9197; and abdomen, 0.8031).
Conclusion: In this project, Lin's correlation coefficient indicated that the digital camera was as accurate as and more efficient than anthropometric measuring for circumferential measurements.
From the Department of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) and the Graduate Program in Public Health, Eastern Virginia Medical School.
Received for publication April 4, 2010; accepted October 1, 2010.
Disclosure: The camera used in this study was provided by Novaptus Systems, Inc. The authors are equity shareholders in Novaptus, a software company that is developing algorithms to improve predictive modeling for body contouring surgery.
David A. Gilbert, M.D.; 400 West Brambleton Avenue, Suite 300; Norfolk, Va. 23510; firstname.lastname@example.org