Review| Volume 75, ISSUE 11, P4264-4272, November 2022

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3D surface imaging technology for objective automated assessment of facial interventions: A systematic review

  • Cindy Nguyen
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Office NA-2214, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, Rotterdam 3015 GD, the Netherlands
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  • Emma S.J. Nicolai
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Office NA-2214, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, Rotterdam 3015 GD, the Netherlands
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  • Jesse J. He
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Office NA-2214, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, Rotterdam 3015 GD, the Netherlands
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  • Gennady V. Roshchupkin
    Department of Epidemiology Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

    Department Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Eveline M.L. Corten
    Corresponding author.
    Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Office NA-2214, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, Rotterdam 3015 GD, the Netherlands
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      The incidence of facial skin cancer increases worldwide, resulting in more surgical resections and reconstructions. Reconstructive surgery aims to approach a normal facial anatomy to optimize the quality of life. Objective automated assessment of the esthetic outcome of facial reconstructions could provide feedback for the improvement of surgical techniques and preoperative patient expectation management.


      This systematic literature review aimed to assess whether modern technologies can create automated objective measurements of surgical and non-surgical facial interventions outcomes using 3D surface imaging technology.


      A systematic literature search was conducted in Embase, Medline (Ovid), Web of Science, and Cochrane on May 19, 2021. All English literature was collected on surgical and non-surgical invasive facial interventions in which 3D surface imaging technology was used for objective automated assessment of outcomes.


      Fourteen articles were included in the systematic review. 3D surface imaging technology and automated assessment techniques were found for skin malignancy, cleft lip repair, rhinoplasty, orthognathic surgery, and injectables. Ten 3D surface imaging technology hardware systems and 12 software systems were described. Four studies compared 3D surface imaging techniques to conventional methods. Ten studies used 3D surface imaging techniques for the evaluation of the surgical outcome, without comparison to 2D photography, validated scores, or a panel. Two studies validated the hardware system.


      This systematic literature review shows that 3D surface imaging technology has the potential for automated objective assessment of facial intervention outcomes. Future studies are necessary to study and validate these tools for standard clinical use in patients with facial interventions.


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