Plastic surgeons are asked to alter a wide range of facial malformations. Even if a person has a small deformity, this could affect the way she perceives herself and her quality of life. Restructuring proportions of the face is a difficult yet fascinating challenge for aesthetic treatments. One of the best ways available to plan a procedure is through 3D imaging.

Assessment, Proportions and Asymmetry

In every aspect, the body and the face are fundamentally asymmetric. These asymmetries are often small, and because of this overlooked. However, having a good understanding of all of them before a surgery can make it much easier to incorporate the minor differences between treatment plans for each side of the face. This will result in a better end result for the individual. The relationship between the fullness of the cheeks, the cheekbone strength as well as the strength of the chin and jawline will all contribute to emotional responses. Using 3D planning helps form this plan.

Cheek Volumes

Some people feel very self-conscious about their chubby cheeks. One of the most common demands for facial reconstruction is for a buccal fat reduction in order to fix this. Using 3D technology makes it easier to appreciate why fullness in the cheeks is present. The 3D image will help the plastic surgeon determine whether it would be best to use liposuction or buccal fat reduction for the procedure. At times, a combination of both procedures will be necessary to help create the look that the patient desires.

Chin and Jaw

The contours of the neck, chin, and jawline are very closely related in defining the strength and balance of the face. While it is possible to use standard photographs to show basic alterations, 3D planning allows for more in-depth shape changes. It also allows for further evaluations, allowing changes to be made to the plan so that the appropriate reductions and enhancements are made. The overall clarity offered by 3D planning shows all of the different angles of the face to help make the surgery plan more exact.


While most people remain unaffected by facial asymmetry, some people are self-conscious about this. There are times when the face may appear twisted, and in these cases, more extensive changes will be necessary in order to achieve the desired improvements. Using 3D planning makes it possible to evaluate all aspects of the face in order to determine the changes that will be the most relevant. This also allows a patient the ability to choose the treatment plan that will work best for his or her needs.

While the 3D technology that is available is somewhat new, it is believed that once surgeons become more familiar with using it, the entire technology will be extremely useful. Using this type of imaging does have some additional costs involved. However, this cost could possibly be offset by simplifying the process of more complex procedures and reconstructions. Overall, 3D planning has a lot to offer, and is definitely the future of plastic surgery.

Image Source: Flickr/MIKI Yoshihito

Meet Our Doctors

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel
Dr. Jeffrey SpiegelWith special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor. Learn more....

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel
Dr. Onir L. SpiegelDr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry. Learn more....