Background: Although interest in objective and quantitative breast surgical outcome assessment is rapidly increasing, published reports have yet to make a real impact on everyday clinical practice. Objective: The authors offer a preliminary report on an innovative methodology customized for breast shape evaluation that, in our opinion, could overcome most of the technical and conceptual limitations of previous studies. Methods: Three-dimensional/four-dimensional breast scanning was performed using a breast-dedicated prototype laser scanner made up of a handheld device, including a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera coupled to a spot laser source. Two additional motion analyzer cameras were used for handheld device tracking and the acquisition of patient motion. Results: Seven female volunteers, including both subjects who had undergone cosmetic or reconstructive breast surgery and those with no such history, underwent a dynamic breast shape survey. Curvature mapping on three-dimensional mesh warranted precise measurements of local geometric properties of the breast surface. Elaboration and representation of breast dynamic behavior during common motor tasks (eg, walking, running, sitting, and lying) was also possible. Conclusions: The scanning methodology reported here reliably describes the breast surface not only in a static position, but also at specific postures or during motion of the body. It also opens the door for quantitative static and dynamic assessment of surgical outcomes, the intraoperative assessment of breast shape, and other applications. Limitations include the relatively long amount of time required for each scan and the need for technical and clinical validation, particularly with respect to four-dimensional assessment.
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