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Head & neck  2010;32(12):1674-1680.
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.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of 21 patients who underwent tracheostomaplasty after laryngectomy to accommodate an intraluminal valve attachment for hands-free TE speech.
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.
Tracheostomaplasty is a successful technique to improve intraluminal retention of a stoma button for hands-free TE speech in laryngectomy patients.
PMCID: PMC4061978  PMID: 20848405
laryngectomy; Barton–Mayo button; hands-free tracheoesophageal speech; outcome; complications
2.  Skin Graft Vascular Maturation and Remodeling: A Multifractal Approach to Morphological Quantification 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3467318  PMID: 22672367
Microcirculation; Split Thickness Skin Graft; Microvascular Morphology; Multifractal Analysis
3.  Automated calculation of symmetry measure on clinical photographs 
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.
PMCID: PMC2958233  PMID: 20630015
BRA; pBRA; Automated Detection; Digital Photographs; Umbilicus; Nipple Complex; Breast Cancer
4.  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.
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
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC3180533  PMID: 20852914
Breast neoplasm; Eye movements; Biomedical image analysis; Decision support; Evaluation research
6.  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.
PMCID: PMC3334380  PMID: 22271826
Breast cancer; breast curvature; breast reconstruction; catenary; digital photographs
7.  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.
PMCID: PMC3140267  PMID: 21792310
three-dimensional; stereophotogrammetry; subject pose; validation; breast; symmetry; surgical planning; pBRA
8.  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.
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
9.  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.
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.
Overall, good agreement was obtained for three parameters (L*a*b*) measured by colorimetry and photography from the results of three statistical analyses.
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.
PMCID: PMC3072466  PMID: 19239578
Aesthetics; Breast Neoplasm; Clinical Photography; Reconstructive Surgical Procedures; Surgical Scars; Treatment Outcome
10.  A Multidimensional Analysis of Body Image Concerns Among Newly Diagnosed Patients with Oral Cavity Cancer 
Head & neck  2010;32(3):301-309.
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.
Newly diagnosed patients with oral cancer completed self-report questionnaires and a structured clinical interview.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2821979  PMID: 19626634
body image; facial disfigurement; oral cavity cancer; distress; quality of life
11.  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.
PMCID: PMC3076012  PMID: 21494398
three-dimensional; anthropometry; validation; breast; photogrammetry; stereophotogrammetry; surgical planning
12.  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
13.  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
14.  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

Results 1-14 (14)