Australian Researchers Try 3D Model to Predict Plastic Surgery Results

Cosmetics Face

One of the trickier elements of plastic surgery is that it is not always easy to get accurate before-and-after images for patients considering such procedures. This is especially true for more subtle or “natural enhancement”-type cosmetic work. A group from the University of Western Australia has produced a 3D imaging system that they believe will be able to overcome this limitation and offer more accurate predictions.

The rising demand for facial rejuvenation or subtle cosmetic medical procedures has been due to various factors such as increasing relationship turnovers, more longevity among the population, or greater numbers of people returning to the workforce. It is standard practice to offer predictive before-and-after photos to patients considering cosmetic surgery, but subtle changes are more reliant on multi-variable 2D photo predictors that are more subjective in evaluation and can sometimes end up being deceiving and unreliable.

To combat this, the Australians have devised a 3D imaging system that compounds images to create a single, more precise evaluation. This is an elaborate way of saying it takes a 3D facial scan and indicates where changes have occurred on the face and by how much. A probability predictive model is also involved to help clarify potential results.

The prototype device was produced as part of a national collaboration between 3D computer vision expert Professor Bennamoun, 3D computer vision researcher Dr. Syed Afaq Ali Shah, and cosmetic medical practitioner Dr. Michael Molton and his team.

Since plastic surgery is not always as precise a process as would be liked, any efforts to improve predictive elements should be welcomed. Trials are currently underway and whether this new technology works is up to time to tell.

“Research aims to show how plastic surgery will really look,” University of Western Australia web site, September 14, 2016;, last accessed September 15, 2016.