How to See the Future of Your Face

New 3-D Cosmetic Surgery Machine Shows How You Could Look After Plastic Surgery


(CBS) If you're considering a little nip and tuck on your face, but are worried you could end up not looking right, there's a new machine that can show you the future of your face.

The "Vectra 3D" machine, made by Canfield Scientific, according to facial plastic surgeon Dr. Monte Harris, is revolutionizing the plastic surgery industry because patients can see what they will look like post-surgery in 3-D.

Harris explained he's excited about the 3-D machine because it gives a better impression of what the face really looks like.

"We live in a three dimensional world … and indeed, our faces and noses are not flat or shall I say 2-D," he said. "Facial plastic surgery is truly a three dimensional clinical art. As surgeons, we have now begun to adopt a more three-dimensional perspective when it comes to rejuvenating facial appearance. More emphasis is being placed on contour changes in contrast to just lifting and pulling in facelifts of the past or simply narrowing in rhinoplasty surgery."

Another draw for Harris is the ability to predict an outcome. He called the machine a "phenomenal asset."

"Vectra 3D helps to support the ability for my patients and I to craft a shared aesthetic vision. 3-D technology already impacts our daily lives in very significant ways and will no doubt play an increasing role in our future day to day lives," he said. "We can already see it happening (with movies). … Bottom line is 3-D technology helps us to see things in a more authentic and realistic way."

The Vectra 3-D machine has potential for everyone, Harris said. However, he added some people may benefit more than others.

"Particularly those individuals who may have been scared or apprehensive of facial plastic surgery or individuals whose facial features fall outside of the mainstream ideals of beauty (will benefit). Up until now, there has been no realistic means to convey or show realistic cosmetic outcomes and to show how subtle changes can really create natural appearing results," he said. "It's has been a great tool for me as a facial plastic surgeon to gain an appreciation for how much change is the right change so that a patient continues to look like themselves, but only better."

Vectra 3D addresses issues of aging in the face, such as volume loss.

"There's been so much enthusiasm and interest in using facial fillers as tools to create more youthful contours," he said. "Vectra 3D can precisely help me to determine ideal amounts of volume necessary to restore youthful contours, whether it's using an injectable filler or their own natural fat."

In addition, Harris said Vectra 3D eliminates some of the uncertainty for both the patient and surgeon.

"No longer do potential patients simply have to take the surgeons word for face value as to what they envision will be an appropriate change. The flip side is true too, in that it allows me as the surgeon to gain a better appreciation for my patients expectations," he said. "For instance, if I make an excessive change with Vectra 3D and the patient thinks it looks great. It can highlight an aesthetic disconnect between the two of us before undergoing surgery. Vectra 3D creates a pathway for the patient and surgeon to co-create a shared aesthetic vision."

For patients considering rhinoplasty or nose surgery, this is a particularly good tool, according to Harris.

"Rhinoplasty is a finesse operation where millimeters make all the difference in achieving a natural appearing outcome," he explained. "Sometimes it's hard for patient's to understand how small changes can make a big difference in how they look. 3-D computer simulation is a great tool for bridging this gap."

He added rhinoplasty 3-D simulation illustrates this point really well.

"As a rhinoplasty surgeon, patients seek me out for my culturally sensitive approach to nasal reshaping," Harris said. "Small changes can quite effectively enhance a patient's authentic beauty while at the same time preserve ethnic identity. Vectra 3D allows me to show this visually to the patient prior to the surgery so that we both can create a roadmap leading to a successful culturally sensitive surgical outcome."

Vectra is now available worldwide. There is no additional charge for Vectra 3D, Harris said.

"It has become an essential component of my consultation," Harris said. "The Vectra 3D allows me to perform 'virtual surgery' ahead of time in my office with the patient awake and present as an active participant. It's best-case scenario because it allows the patient to be a partner in creating the aesthetic roadmap for a successful surgical outcome."

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