Journal of Surgery & Clinical Practice

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3D printing in cosmetic surgery - New paradigm to enhance consultations, conversion and surgical planning

One of the most important parts of the plastic surgery consultation is aligning patient and surgeon goals. Plastic surgeons have been using simulation software as part of their consultation to help show patients what they might look like after cosmetic surgery. Despite the more recent use of 3D photography and simulation, patients still have difficulty visualizing proposed changes on a 2D computer screen. 3D printing, which is an emerging technology in various sectors including health care, may help bridge this gap. We have begun to incorporate 3D printing technology in the care of aesthetic patients. 3D prints are provided by MirrorMe3D, which offers products to surgeons and patient, including full face, facial subunit (i.e. nose) and breast models. 3D printing offers a number of benefits to doctors, including marketing and branding, as well as potential increased patient conversion rates. We have found the most useful procedures have been for rhinoplasty and breast augmentation. Baseline models are used at initial consultation to describe the deformity and educate patients on the goals and expectations of surgery. Baseline and simulated models can be used as an educational tool, but can also be utilized as a reference for intraoperative guidance. We have found this latter application particularly useful as it supplements, and may ultimately replace, the standard 2D photos currently used. 3D printing can add value to many aspects of a cosmetic surgery practice, including branding, marketing, education, conversion rates, and surgical planning.

Carrie S Stern completed her Medical degree from New York University Medical Center and then pursued her residency training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Given her previous research interests in simulation and technology in plastic surgery, coupled with her entrepreneurial interests, she decided to launch MirrorMe3D, a company dedicated to bringing 3D printing to cosmetic surgery. She has co-authored 20+ manuscripts in peer reviewed journals and 50+ presentations and national and international conferences to date.

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