3D volumetric analysis for planning breast reconstructive surgery

Michael Park Chae, David James Hunter-Smith, Bob Spychal, Warren Rozen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Breast reconstruction plays an integral role in the holistic management of breast cancer, with assessment of breast volume, shape, and projection vital in planning breast reconstruction surgery. Current practice includes two-dimensional (2D) photography and visual estimation in selecting ideal volume and shape of breast implants or soft-tissue flaps. Other objective quantitative means of calculating breast volume have been reported, such as direct anthropomorphic measurements or three-dimensional (3D) photography, but none have proven reliably accurate. We describe a novel approach to volumetric analysis of the breast, through the creation of a haptic, tactile model, or 3D print of scan data. This approach comprises use of a single computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan for volumetric analysis, which we use to compare to simpler estimation techniques, create software-generated 3D reconstructions, calculate, and visualize volume differences, and produce biomodels of the breasts using a 3D printer for tactile appreciation of volume differential. Using the technique described, parenchymal volume was assessed and calculated using CT data. A case report was utilized in a pictorial account of the technique, in which a volume difference of 116 cm3 was calculated, aiding reconstructive planning. Preoperative planning, including volumetric analysis can be used as a tool to aid esthetic outcomes and attempt to reduce operative times in post-mastectomy breast reconstruction surgery. The combination of accurate volume calculations and the production of 3D-printed haptic models for tactile feedback and operative guidance are evolving techniques in volumetric analysis and preoperative planning in breast reconstruction. ? 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457 - 460
Number of pages4
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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