Advances in computer imaging/applications in facial plastic surgery.Facial Plast Surg. 1999; 15(2):119-25.FP
Rapidly progressing computer technology, ever-increasing expectations of patients, and a confusing medicolegal environment requires a clarification of the role of computer imaging/applications. Advances in computer technology and its applications are reviewed. A brief historical discussion is included for perspective. Improvements in both hardware and software with the advent of digital imaging have allowed great increases in speed and accuracy in patient imaging. This facilitates doctor-patient communication and possibly realistic patient expectations. Patients seeking cosmetic surgery now often expect preoperative imaging. Although society in general has become more litigious, a literature search up to 1998 reveals no lawsuits directly involving computer imaging. It appears that conservative utilization of computer imaging by the facial plastic surgeon may actually reduce liability and promote communication. Recent advances have significantly enhanced the value of computer imaging in the practice of facial plastic surgery. These technological advances in computer imaging appear to contribute a useful technique for the practice of facial plastic surgery. Inclusion of computer imaging should be given serious consideration as an adjunct to clinical practice.