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1.  Automated Calculation of Ptosis on Lateral Clinical Photographs 
Rationale
The goal is to fully automate the calculation of a breast ptosis measure from clinical photographs through automatic localization of fiducial points relevant to the measure.
Methods
68 women (97 clinical photographs) who underwent or were scheduled for breast reconstruction were included. The photographs were divided into a development set (N = 49) and an evaluation set (N = 48). The breast ptosis measure is obtained automatically from distances between three fiducial points: the nipple, the lowest visible point of a breast (LVP), and the lateral terminus of the inframammary fold (LT). The nipple is localized using the YIQ color space to highlight the contrast between the areola and the surrounding breast skin. The areola is localized using its shape, location, and high Q component intensity. The breast contour is estimated using Dijkstra’s shortest path algorithm on the gradient of the photograph in grayscale. The lowest point of the estimated contour is set as the LVP. To locate the anatomically subtle LT, the location of patient’s axilla is used as a reference.
Results
The algorithm’s efficacy was evaluated by comparing manual and automated localizations of the fiducial points. The average nipple diameter was used as a cut-off to define success. The algorithm showed 90%, 91%, and 83% accuracy for locating the nipple, LVP, and LT in the evaluation set, respectively.
Conclusion
This study presents a new automated algorithm that may facilitate the quantification of breast ptosis from lateral views of patients’ photographs.
doi:10.1111/jep.12397
PMCID: PMC5055840  PMID: 26083280
Ptosis; Automated Detection; Digital Photographs; Nipple; Lateral Terminus; Breast Cancer
2.  3D Surface Imaging of the Human Female Torso in Upright to Supine Positions 
Medical engineering & physics  2015;37(4):375-383.
Three-dimensional (3D) surface imaging of breasts is usually done with the patient in an upright position, which does not permit comparison of changes in breast morphology with changes in position of the torso. In theory, these limitations may be eliminated if the 3D camera system could remain fixed relative to the woman’s torso as she is tilted from 0 to 90 degrees. We mounted a 3dMDtorso imaging system onto a bariatric tilt table to image breasts at different tilt angles. The images were validated using a rigid plastic mannequin and the metrics compared to breast metrics obtained from 5 subjects with diverse morphology. The differences between distances between the same fiducial marks differed between the supine and upright positions by less than one percent for the mannequin, whereas the differences for distances between the same fiducial marks on the breasts of the 5 subjects differed significantly and could be correlated with body mass index and brassiere cup size for each position change. We show that a tilt table - 3D imaging system can be used to determine quantitative changes in the morphology of ptotic breasts when the subject is tilted to various angles.
doi:10.1016/j.medengphy.2015.01.011
PMCID: PMC4380553  PMID: 25703742
3-dimensional imaging; tilt table; multi-angle imaging; orientation-specific 3D imaging; upright surface scan; angular surface scan; supine surface scan
3.  Helping patients make choices about breast reconstruction: A decision analysis approach 
Plastic and reconstructive surgery  2014;134(4):597-608.
Decision analysis can help breast reconstruction patients and their surgeons to methodically evaluate clinical alternatives and make hard decisions. The purpose of this paper is to help plastic surgeons guide patients in making decisions though a case study in breast reconstruction. By making good decisions, patient outcomes may be improved. This paper aims to illustrate decision analysis techniques from the patient perspective with an emphasis on her values and preferences. We introduce normative decision-making through a fictional breast reconstruction patient and systematically build the decision basis to help her make a good decision. We broadly identify alternatives of breast reconstruction, propose types of outcomes that the patient should consider, discuss sources of probabilistic information and outcome values, and demonstrate how to make a good decision. The concepts presented here may be extended to other shared decision-making problems in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
In addition, we discuss how sensitivity analysis may test the robustness of the decision and how to evaluate the quality of decisions. We also present tools to help implement these concepts in practice. Finally, we examine limitations that hamper adoption of patient decision analysis in reconstructive surgery and healthcare in general. In particular, we emphasize the need for routine collection of quality of life information, out-of-pocket expense, and recovery time.
doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000000514
PMCID: PMC4217136  PMID: 25357022
4.  Assessing Women’s Preferences and Preference Modeling for Breast Reconstruction Decision-Making 
Background
Women considering breast reconstruction must make challenging trade-offs amongst issues that often conflict. It may be useful to quantify possible outcomes using a single summary measure to aid a breast cancer patient in choosing a form of breast reconstruction.
Methods
In this study, we used multiattribute utility theory to combine multiple objectives to yield a summary value using nine different preference models. We elicited the preferences of 36 women, aged 32 or older with no history of breast cancer, for the patient-reported outcome measures of breast satisfaction, psychosocial well-being, chest well-being, abdominal well-being, and sexual wellbeing as measured by the BREAST-Q in addition to time lost to reconstruction and out-of-pocket cost. Participants ranked hypothetical breast reconstruction outcomes. We examined each multiattribute utility preference model and assessed how often each model agreed with participants’ rankings.
Results
The median amount of time required to assess preferences was 34 minutes. Agreement among the nine preference models with the participants ranged from 75.9% to 78.9%. None of the preference models performed significantly worse than the best performing risk averse multiplicative model. We hypothesize an average theoretical agreement of 94.6% for this model if participant error is included. There was a statistically significant positive correlation with more unequal distribution of weight given to the seven attributes.
Conclusions
We recommend the risk averse multiplicative model for modeling the preferences of patients considering different forms of breast reconstruction because it agreed most often with the participants in this study.
doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000000062
PMCID: PMC4120963  PMID: 25105083
Multiattribute utility theory; breast reconstruction; BREAST-Q; patient reported outcome measures; decision analysis; decision-making; consistency; risk attitude; multiple objectives; utility
5.  Plastic Surgeon Expertise in Predicting Breast Reconstruction Outcomes for Patient Decision Analysis 
Background
Decision analysis offers a framework that may help breast cancer patients make good breast reconstruction decisions. A requirement for this type of analysis is information about the possibility of outcomes occurring in the form of probabilities. The purpose of this study was to determine if plastic surgeons are good sources of probability information, both individually and as a group, when data are limited.
Methods
Seven plastic surgeons were provided with pertinent medical information and preoperative photographs of patients, and were asked to assign probabilities to predict number of revisions, complications, and final aesthetic outcome using a questionnaire designed for the study. Logarithmic strictly proper scoring was used to evaluate the surgeons’ abilities to predict breast reconstruction outcomes. Surgeons’ responses were analyzed for calibration and confidence in their answers.
Results
As individuals, there was variation in surgeons’ ability to predict outcomes. For each prediction category, a different surgeon was more accurate. As a group, surgeons possessed knowledge of future events despite not being well calibrated in their probability assessments. Prediction accuracy for the group was up to six-fold greater than that of the best individual.
Conclusions
The use of individual plastic surgeon-elicited probability information is not encouraged unless the individual’s prediction skill has been evaluated. In the absence of this information, a group consensus on the probability of outcomes is preferred. Without a large evidence base for calculating probabilities, estimates assessed from a group of plastic surgeons may be acceptable for purposes of breast reconstruction decision analysis.
doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000000010
PMCID: PMC4044723  PMID: 24910814
6.  In-vivo quantification of human breast deformation associated with the position change from supine to upright 
Medical engineering & physics  2014;37(1):13-22.
Stereophotographic imaging and digital image correlation are used to determine the variation of breast skin deformation as the subject orientation is altered from supine to upright. A change in subject’s position from supine to upright can result in significant stretches in some parts of the breast skin. The maximum of the major principal stretch ratio of the skin is different in different subjects and varies in the range of 1.25–1.60. It is also found that the boundaries of the breast move significantly relative to the skeletal structure and other fixed points such as the sternal notch. Such measurements are crucial since they provide basic data for validation of biomechanical breast models based on finite element formulations.
doi:10.1016/j.medengphy.2014.09.016
PMCID: PMC4297751  PMID: 25456398
Biomechanics; Image correlation; Deformation measurement
7.  Eigen-disfigurement model for simulating plausible facial disfigurement after reconstructive surgery 
BMC Medical Imaging  2015;15:12.
Background
Patients with facial cancers can experience disfigurement as they may undergo considerable appearance changes from their illness and its treatment. Individuals with difficulties adjusting to facial cancer are concerned about how others perceive and evaluate their appearance. Therefore, it is important to understand how humans perceive disfigured faces. We describe a new strategy that allows simulation of surgically plausible facial disfigurement on a novel face for elucidating the human perception on facial disfigurement.
Method
Longitudinal 3D facial images of patients (N = 17) with facial disfigurement due to cancer treatment were replicated using a facial mannequin model, by applying Thin-Plate Spline (TPS) warping and linear interpolation on the facial mannequin model in polar coordinates. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to capture longitudinal structural and textural variations found within each patient with facial disfigurement arising from the treatment. We treated such variations as disfigurement. Each disfigurement was smoothly stitched on a healthy face by seeking a Poisson solution to guided interpolation using the gradient of the learned disfigurement as the guidance field vector. The modeling technique was quantitatively evaluated. In addition, panel ratings of experienced medical professionals on the plausibility of simulation were used to evaluate the proposed disfigurement model.
Results
The algorithm reproduced the given face effectively using a facial mannequin model with less than 4.4 mm maximum error for the validation fiducial points that were not used for the processing. Panel ratings of experienced medical professionals on the plausibility of simulation showed that the disfigurement model (especially for peripheral disfigurement) yielded predictions comparable to the real disfigurements.
Conclusions
The modeling technique of this study is able to capture facial disfigurements and its simulation represents plausible outcomes of reconstructive surgery for facial cancers. Thus, our technique can be used to study human perception on facial disfigurement.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12880-015-0050-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12880-015-0050-7
PMCID: PMC4396629  PMID: 25885763
Facial disfigurement; Reconstructive surgery; 3D surface image; Simulation; Head and neck cancer
8.  Developing a Theoretical Framework to Illustrate Associations Among Patient Satisfaction, Body Image and Quality of Life for Women Undergoing Breast Reconstruction 
Cancer treatment reviews  2013;39(6):673-681.
Within the field of breast reconstruction there is increasing focus on patient-reported outcomes related to satisfaction, body image, and quality of life. These outcomes are deemed highly relevant because the primary goal of breast reconstruction is to recreate the appearance of a breast (or breasts) that is satisfying to the patient. Prominent researchers have suggested the need to develop improved standards for outcome evaluation which can ultimately benefit patients as well as physicians. The purpose of this article is to summarize key findings in the area of patient-reported outcomes for breast reconstruction and introduce a theoretical framework for advancing research in this field. We conducted an extensive literature review of outcome studies for breast reconstruction focusing on patient-reported results. We developed a theoretical framework illustrating core patient-reported outcomes related to breast reconstruction and factors associated with these outcomes. Our theoretical model highlights domains and distinguishing features of patient satisfaction, body image, and quality of life outcomes for women undergoing breast reconstruction. This model further identifies a broad range of variables (e.g., historical/premorbid influences, disease and treatment-related factors) that have been found to influence patient-reported outcomes and need to be taken into consideration when designing future research in this area. Additional attention is given to examining the relationship between patient reported outcomes and outside evaluation of breast reconstruction. Our proposed theoretical framework suggests key opportunities to expand research in this area with the goal of optimizing body image adjustment, satisfaction, and psychosocial outcomes for the individual patient.
doi:10.1016/j.ctrv.2012.12.010
PMCID: PMC3681916  PMID: 23380309
breast reconstruction; body image; patient satisfaction; quality of life
9.  TRACHEOSTOMAPLASTY: A SURGICAL METHOD FOR IMPROVING RETENTION OF AN INTRALUMINAL STOMA BUTTON FOR HANDS-FREE TRACHEOESOPHAGEAL SPEECH 
Head & neck  2010;32(12):1674-1680.
Background
We describe a minimally invasive surgical technique, tracheostomaplasty, to overcome anatomical deformities of the stoma that preclude successful retention of a stoma button for hands free tracheoesophageal (TE) speech.
Methods
We conducted a retrospective analysis of 21 patients who underwent tracheostomaplasty after laryngectomy to accommodate an intraluminal valve attachment for hands-free TE speech.
Results
Sixteen men and 5 women (median age, 65 years; median follow-up, 27.7 months) underwent tracheostomaplasty; 6 patients developed a mild cellulitis that required therapy and 5 patients required a minor revision surgery. At last follow-up, 15 (71%) patients successfully achieved hands-free TE speech using an intraluminal stoma button. Three patients only retained the intraluminal device to facilitate digital occlusion. Tracheostomaplasty failed in 3 patients because of granulation tissue formation or stomal stenosis.
Conclusions
Tracheostomaplasty is a successful technique to improve intraluminal retention of a stoma button for hands-free TE speech in laryngectomy patients.
doi:10.1002/hed.21379
PMCID: PMC4061978  PMID: 20848405
laryngectomy; Barton–Mayo button; hands-free tracheoesophageal speech; outcome; complications
10.  Assessing Women’s Preferences and Preference Modeling for Breast Reconstruction Decision Making 
Background:
Women considering breast reconstruction must make challenging trade-offs among issues that often conflict. It may be useful to quantify possible outcomes using a single summary measure to aid a breast cancer patient in choosing a form of breast reconstruction.
Methods:
In this study, we used multiattribute utility theory to combine multiple objectives to yield a summary value using 9 different preference models. We elicited the preferences of 36 women, aged 32 or older with no history of breast cancer, for the patient-reported outcome measures of breast satisfaction, psychosocial well-being, chest well-being, abdominal well-being, and sexual well-being as measured by the BREAST-Q in addition to time lost to reconstruction and out-of-pocket cost. Participants ranked hypothetical breast reconstruction outcomes. We examined each multiattribute utility preference model and assessed how often each model agreed with participants’ rankings.
Results:
The median amount of time required to assess preferences was 34 minutes. Agreement among the 9 preference models with the participants ranged from 75.9% to 78.9%. None of the preference models performed significantly worse than the best-performing risk-averse multiplicative model. We hypothesize an average theoretical agreement of 94.6% for this model if participant error is included. There was a statistically significant positive correlation with more unequal distribution of weight given to the 7 attributes.
Conclusions:
We recommend the risk-averse multiplicative model for modeling the preferences of patients considering different forms of breast reconstruction because it agreed most often with the participants in this study.
doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000000062
PMCID: PMC4120963  PMID: 25105083
11.  Plastic Surgeon Expertise in Predicting Breast Reconstruction Outcomes for Patient Decision Analysis 
Background:
Decision analysis offers a framework that may help breast cancer patients make good breast reconstruction decisions. A requirement for this type of analysis is information about the possibility of outcomes occurring in the form of probabilities. The purpose of this study was to determine if plastic surgeons are good sources of probability information, both individually and as a group, when data are limited.
Methods:
Seven plastic surgeons were provided with pertinent medical information and preoperative photographs of patients and were asked to assign probabilities to predict number of revisions, complications, and final aesthetic outcome using a questionnaire designed for the study. Logarithmic strictly proper scoring was used to evaluate the surgeons’ abilities to predict breast reconstruction outcomes. Surgeons’ responses were analyzed for calibration and confidence in their answers.
Results:
As individuals, there was variation in surgeons’ ability to predict outcomes. For each prediction category, a different surgeon was more accurate. As a group, surgeons possessed knowledge of future events despite not being well calibrated in their probability assessments. Prediction accuracy for the group was up to 6-fold greater than that of the best individual.
Conclusions:
The use of individual plastic surgeon–elicited probability information is not encouraged unless the individual’s prediction skill has been evaluated. In the absence of this information, a group consensus on the probability of outcomes is preferred. Without a large evidence base for calculating probabilities, estimates assessed from a group of plastic surgeons may be acceptable for purposes of breast reconstruction decision analysis.
doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000000010
PMCID: PMC4044723  PMID: 24910814
12.  Skin Graft Vascular Maturation and Remodeling: A Multifractal Approach to Morphological Quantification 
Objective
One important contributor to tissue graft viability is angiogenic maturation of the graft tissue bed. This study uses scale-invariant microvascular morphological quantification to track vessel maturation and remodeling in a split-thickness skin grafting model over 21 days, comparing the results to classical techniques.
Methods
Images from a previous study of split-thickness skin grafting in rats were analyzed. Microvascular morphology (fractal and multifractal dimensions, lacunarity, and vessel density) within fibrin interfaces of samples over time was quantified using classical semi-automated methods and automated multifractal and lacunarity analyses.
Results
Microvessel morphology increased in density and complexity, from 3 to 7 days after engraftment and then regressed by 21 days. Vessel density increased from 0.07 on day 3 to 0.20 on day 7 and then decreased to 0.06 on day 21. A similar trend was seen for the fractal dimension which increased from 1.56 at 3 days to 1.77 at 7 days then decreased to 1.57 by 21 days. Vessel diameters did not change while complexity and density did, signaling remodeling.
Conclusions
This new automated analysis identified design parameters for tissue engraftment and could be used in other models of graft vessel biology to track proliferation and pruning of complex vessel beds.
doi:10.1111/j.1549-8719.2012.00200.x
PMCID: PMC3467318  PMID: 22672367
Microcirculation; Split Thickness Skin Graft; Microvascular Morphology; Multifractal Analysis
13.  Automated Identification of Fiducial Points on 3D Torso Images 
Breast reconstruction is an important part of the breast cancer treatment process for many women. Recently, 2D and 3D images have been used by plastic surgeons for evaluating surgical outcomes. Distances between different fiducial points are frequently used as quantitative measures for characterizing breast morphology. Fiducial points can be directly marked on subjects for direct anthropometry, or can be manually marked on images. This paper introduces novel algorithms to automate the identification of fiducial points in 3D images. Automating the process will make measurements of breast morphology more reliable, reducing the inter- and intra-observer bias. Algorithms to identify three fiducial points, the nipples, sternal notch, and umbilicus, are described. The algorithms used for localization of these fiducial points are formulated using a combination of surface curvature and 2D color information. Comparison of the 3D co-ordinates of automatically detected fiducial points and those identified manually, and geodesic distances between the fiducial points are used to validate algorithm performance. The algorithms reliably identified the location of all three of the fiducial points. We dedicate this article to our late colleague and friend, Dr. Elisabeth K. Beahm. Elisabeth was both a talented plastic surgeon and physician-scientist; we deeply miss her insight and her fellowship.
doi:10.4137/BECB.S11800
PMCID: PMC4147764  PMID: 25288903
3D surface mesh; breast reconstruction; curvature; breast morphology; landmark detection
14.  Automated calculation of symmetry measure on clinical photographs 
1 ABSTRACT
Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the world. More than 250,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Fortunately, the survival rate is relatively high and continually increasing due to improved detection techniques and treatment methods. The quality of life of breast cancer survivors is ameliorated by minimizing adverse effects on their physical appearance. Breast reconstruction is important for restoring the survivor’s appearance. In breast reconstructive surgery, there is a need to develop technologies for quantifying surgical outcomes and understanding women’s perceptions of changes in their appearance. Methods for objectively measuring breast anatomy are needed in order to help breast cancer survivors, radiation oncologists, and surgeons quantify changes in appearance that occur with different breast reconstructive surgical options. In this study, we present an automated method for computing a variant of the normalized Breast Retraction Assessment (pBRA), a common measure of symmetry, from routine clinical photographs taken to document breast cancer treatment procedures.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01477.x
PMCID: PMC2958233  PMID: 20630015
BRA; pBRA; Automated Detection; Digital Photographs; Umbilicus; Nipple Complex; Breast Cancer
15.  Quantifying the Aesthetic Outcomes of Breast Cancer Treatment: Assessment of Surgical Scars from Clinical Photographs 
Accurate assessment of the degree of scaring that results from surgical intervention for breast cancer would enable more effective pre-operative counseling. The resultant scar that accompanies an open surgical intervention may be characterized by variance in thickness, color, and contour. These factors significantly impact the overall appearance of the breast. A number of studies have addressed the mechanical and pathologic aspects of scarring. The majority of these investigations have focused on the physiologic process of scar formation and means to improve the qualities of a scar. Few studies have focused on quantifying the visual impact of scars. This manuscript critically reviews current methods used to assess scars in terms of overall satisfaction after surgery. We introduce objective, quantitative measures for assessing linear breast surgical scars using digital photography. These new measurements of breast surgical scars are based on calculations of contrast and area. We demonstrate, using the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC), that the new measures are robust to observer variability in annotating the scar region on clinical photographs. As an example of the utility of the new measures, we use them to quantify the aesthetic differences of reconstruction following skin-sparing mastectomy vs. conventional mastectomy.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01476.x
PMCID: PMC2958242  PMID: 20630016
Aesthetics; Breast Neoplasm; Esthetics; Mastectomy; Outcomes; Prostheses and Implants; Reconstructive Surgical Procedures; Surgical Flaps; Surgical Scars; Treatment Outcome; Quality of Life; Breast Conservation Therapy
16.  A Pilot Study on Using Eye Tracking to Understand Assessment of Surgical Outcomes from Clinical Photography 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2010;24(5):778-786.
Appearance changes resulting from breast cancer treatment impact the quality of life of breast cancer survivors, but current approaches to evaluating breast characteristics are very limited. It is challenging, even for experienced plastic surgeons, to describe how different aspects of breast morphology impact overall assessment of esthetics. Moreover, it is difficult to describe what they are looking for in a manner that facilitates quantification. The goal of this study is to assess the potential of using eye-tracking technology to understand how plastic surgeons assess breast morphology by recording their gaze path while they rate physical characteristics of the breasts, e.g., symmetry, based on clinical photographs. In this study, dwell time, transition frequency, dwell sequence conditional probabilities, and dwell sequence joint probabilities were analyzed across photographic poses and three observers. Dwell-time analysis showed that all three surgeons spent the majority of their time on the anterior–posterior (AP) views. Similarly, transition frequency analysis between regions showed that there were substantially more transitions between the breast regions in the AP view, relative to the number of transitions between other views. The results of both the conditional and joint probability analyses between the breast regions showed that the highest probabilities of transitions were observed between the breast regions in the AP view (APRB, APLB) followed by the oblique views and the lateral views to complete evaluation of breast surgical outcomes.
doi:10.1007/s10278-010-9338-x
PMCID: PMC3180533  PMID: 20852914
Breast neoplasm; Eye movements; Biomedical image analysis; Decision support; Evaluation research
17.  A Novel Quantitative Measure of Breast Curvature Based on Catenary 
Quantitative, objective measurements of breast curvature computed from clinical photographs could be used to investigate factors that impact reconstruction and facilitate surgical planning. This paper introduces a novel quantitative measure of breast curvature based on catenary. A catenary curve is used to approximate the overall curvature of the breast contour, and the curvature measure is extracted from the catenary curve. The catenary curve was verified by comparing its length, the area enclosed by the curve, and the curvature measure from the catenary curve to those from manual tracings of the breast contour. The evaluation of the proposed analysis employed untreated and postoperative clinical photographs of women who were undergoing tissue expander/implant (TE/Implant) reconstruction. Logistic regression models were developed to distinguish between the curvature of breasts undergoing TE/Implant reconstruction and that of untreated breasts based on the curvature measure and patient variables (age and body mass index). The relationships between the curvature measures of untreated breasts and patient variables were also investigated. The catenary curve approximates breast curvature reliably. The curvature measure contains useful information for quantifying the curvature differences between breasts undergoing TE/Implant reconstruction and untreated breasts, and identifying the effect of patient variables on the breast shape.
doi:10.1109/TBME.2012.2184541
PMCID: PMC3334380  PMID: 22271826
Breast cancer; breast curvature; breast reconstruction; catenary; digital photographs
18.  3D Symmetry Measure Invariant to Subject Pose During Image Acquisition 
In this study we evaluate the influence of subject pose during image acquisition on quantitative analysis of breast morphology. Three (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) images of the torso of 12 female subjects in two different poses; (1) hands-on-hip (HH) and (2) hands-down (HD) were obtained. In order to quantify the effect of pose, we introduce a new measure; the 3D pBRA (Percentage Breast Retraction Assessment) index, and validate its use against the 2D pBRA index. Our data suggests that the 3D pBRA index is linearly correlated with the 2D counterpart for both of the poses, and is independent of the localization of fiducial points within a tolerance limit of 7 mm. The quantitative assessment of 3D asymmetry was found to be invariant of subject pose. This study further corroborates the advantages of 3D stereophotogrammetry over 2D photography. Problems with pose that are inherent in 2D photographs are avoided and fiducial point identification is made easier by being able to panoramically rotate the 3D surface enabling views from any desired angle.
doi:10.4137/BCBCR.S7140
PMCID: PMC3140267  PMID: 21792310
three-dimensional; stereophotogrammetry; subject pose; validation; breast; symmetry; surgical planning; pBRA
19.  Assessment of Breast Aesthetics 
Plastic and reconstructive surgery  2008;121(4):186e-194e.
A good aesthetic outcome is an important endpoint of breast cancer treatment. Subjective ratings, direct physical measurements, measurements on photographs, and assessment by three-dimensional imaging are reviewed and future directions in aesthetic outcome measurements are discussed. Qualitative, subjective scales have frequently been used to assess aesthetic outcomes following breast cancer treatment. However, none of these scales has achieved widespread use because they are typically vague and have low intra- and inter- observer agreement. Anthropometry is not routinely performed because it is impractical to conduct the large studies needed to validate anthropometric measures, i.e., studies in which several observers measure the same subjects multiple times. Quantitative measures based on digital/digitized photographs have yielded acceptable results but have some limitations. Three-dimensional imaging has the potential to enable consistent, objective assessment of breast appearance, including properties, such as volume, that are not available from two-dimensional images. However, further work is needed to define 3D measures of aesthetic properties and how they should be interpreted.
doi:10.1097/01.prs.0000304593.74672.b8
PMCID: PMC3097998  PMID: 18349598
Aesthetics; Breast Neoplasm; Esthetics; Mastectomy; Outcomes; Prostheses and Implants; Reconstructive Surgical Procedures; Surgical Flaps; Treatment Outcome; Quality of Life; Breast Conservation Therapy
20.  Toward Quantifying the Aesthetic Outcomes of Breast Cancer Treatment: Comparison of Clinical Photography and Colorimetry 
Rationale, aims and objectives
Scarring is a significant cause of dissatisfaction for women who undergo breast surgery. Scar tissue may be clinically distinguished from normal skin by aberrant color, rough surface texture, increased thickness (hypertrophy), and firmness. Colorimeters or spectrophotometers can be used to quantitatively assess scar color, but they require direct patient interaction and can cost thousands of dollars By comparison, digital photography is already in widespread use to document clinical outcomes and requires less patient interaction. Thus, assessment of scar coloration by digital photography is an attractive alternative. The goal of this study was to compare color measurements obtained by digital photography and colorimetry.
Method
Agreement between photographic and colorimetric measurements of color were evaluated. Experimental conditions were controlled by performing measurements on artificial scars created by a makeup artist. The colorimetric measurements of the artificial scars were compared to those reported in the literature for real scars in order to confirm the validity of this approach. We assessed the agreement between the colorimetric and photographic measurements of color using a hypothesis test for equivalence, the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC), and the Bland-Altman method.
Results
Overall, good agreement was obtained for three parameters (L*a*b*) measured by colorimetry and photography from the results of three statistical analyses.
Conclusion
Color measurements obtained by digital photography were equivalent to those obtained using colorimetry. Thus, digital photography is a reliable, cost-effective measurement method of skin color and should be further investigated for quantitative analysis of surgical outcomes.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2753.2008.00945.x
PMCID: PMC3072466  PMID: 19239578
Aesthetics; Breast Neoplasm; Clinical Photography; Reconstructive Surgical Procedures; Surgical Scars; Treatment Outcome
21.  A Multidimensional Analysis of Body Image Concerns Among Newly Diagnosed Patients with Oral Cavity Cancer 
Head & neck  2010;32(3):301-309.
Background
Body image is a critical psychosocial issue for patients facing treatment for oral cancer yet there is limited research conducted in this area. This study utilizes a multidimensional approach to body image assessment and evaluates relationships between body image, demographic, health, and psychosocial variables.
Methods
Newly diagnosed patients with oral cancer completed self-report questionnaires and a structured clinical interview.
Results
Most participants identified current and/or future body image concerns primarily related to impending surgery. Adequate psychometric properties were demonstrated on a range of body image measures. Depression was the strongest and most consistent predictor of body image outcomes.
Conclusions
Preliminary evidence supports the importance of evaluating body image concerns in oral cancer patients prior to surgical intervention. Our findings have implications for developing validated body image tools and can be used to guide psychosocial interventions targeting body image disturbance.
doi:10.1002/hed.21181
PMCID: PMC2821979  PMID: 19626634
body image; facial disfigurement; oral cavity cancer; distress; quality of life
22.  Validation of Stereophotogrammetry of the Human Torso 
The objective of this study was to determine if measurements of breast morphology computed from three-dimensional (3D) stereophotogrammetry are equivalent to traditional anthropometric measurements obtained directly on a subject using a tape measure. 3D torso images of 23 women ranged in age from 36 to 63 who underwent or were scheduled for breast reconstruction surgery were obtained using a 3dMD torso system (3Q Technologies Inc., Atlanta, GA). Two different types (contoured and line-of-sight distances) of a total of nine distances were computed from 3D images of each participant. Each participant was photographed twice, first without fiducial points marked (referred to as unmarked image) and second with fiducial points marked prior to imaging (referred to as marked image). Stereophotogrammetry was compared to traditional direct anthropometry, in which measurements were taken with a tape measure on participants. Three statistical analyses were used to evaluate the agreement between stereophotogrammetry and direct anthropometry. Seven out of nine distances showed excellent agreement between stereophotogrammetry and direct anthropometry (both marked and unmarked images). In addition, stereophotogrammetry from the unmarked image was equivalent to that of the marked image (both line-of-sight and contoured distances). A lower level of agreement was observed for some measures because of difficulty in localizing more vaguely defined fiducial points, such as lowest visible point of breast mound, and inability of the imaging system in capturing areas obscured by the breast, such as the inframammary fold. Stereophotogrammetry from 3D images obtained from the 3dMD torso system is effective for quantifying breast morphology. Tools for surgical planning and evaluation based on stereophotogrammetry have the potential to improve breast surgery outcomes.
doi:10.4137/BCBCR.S6352
PMCID: PMC3076012  PMID: 21494398
three-dimensional; anthropometry; validation; breast; photogrammetry; stereophotogrammetry; surgical planning
23.  Analysis of Breast Contour using Rotated Catenary 
Surgical reconstruction of natural-appearing breasts is a challenging task. Currently, surgical planning is limited to the surgeon’s subjective assessment of breast morphology. Therefore, it is useful to develop objective measurements of breast contour. In this paper, a novel quantitative measure of the breast contour based on catenary theory is introduced. A catenary curve is fitted on the breast contour (lateral and inferior) and the key parameter determining the shape of the curve is extracted. The new catenary analysis was applied to pre- and post-operative clinical photographs of women who underwent tissue expander/implant (TE/Implant) reconstruction. A logistic regression model was developed to predict the probability that the observed contour is that of a TE/Implant reconstruction from the catenary parameter, patient age, and patient body mass index. It was demonstrated that the parameters contain useful information for distinguishing TE/Implant reconstructed breasts from pre-operative breasts.
PMCID: PMC3041438  PMID: 21347015
24.  A Research Agenda for Appearance Changes Due to Breast Cancer Treatment 
Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in the US. It is estimated that more than 180,000 American women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2008. Fortunately, the survival rate is relatively high and continually increasing due to improved detection techniques and treatment methods. However, maintaining quality of life is a factor often under emphasized for breast cancer survivors. Breast cancer treatments are invasive and can lead to deformation of the breast. Breast reconstruction is important for restoring the survivor’s appearance. However, more work is needed to develop technologies for quantifying surgical outcomes and understanding women’s perceptions of changes in their appearance. A method for objectively measuring breast anatomy is needed in order to help both the breast cancer survivors and their surgeons take expected changes to the survivor’s appearance into account when considering various treatment options. In the future, augmented reality tools could help surgeons reconstruct a survivor’s breasts to match her preferences as much as possible.
PMCID: PMC3085417  PMID: 21655363
breast cancer; 3D imaging of breast; computer-assisted image analysis; quality of life
25.  Towards Quantifying the Aesthetic Outcomes of Breast Cancer Treatment: Assessment of Surgical Scars 
Our long-term goal is to develop decision aids that will improve breast cancer treatment by explicitly taking aesthetics in the consideration. Essentially all breast cancer treatment involves surgery, which inevitably leaves scars. However, the extent and type of scarring is not the same for different surgeries (e.g., different forms of reconstruction.) We present our preliminary experiences in using image processing techniques to quantify scar characteristics in clinical photographs.
PMCID: PMC1560447  PMID: 16779296

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