Could 3D printing revolutionise cosmetic surgery consultations?One of the most difficult part of a cosmetic surgeon’s job can be to ensure that clients fully understand the potential outcomes of the procedures they undergo and to make sure that they completely understand what they hope to achieve.

While the professionals will have a very clear vision in their mind’s eye of what the results will be, based on vast amounts of knowledge and experience, it can be difficult for clients to envisage what they will look like after the procedure and the recovery period has passed. It can also be hard for some people to adequately explain what they want from surgery, even though the best professionals will be experienced at dealing with such issues.

This can lead to some clients demanding results that will be impossible to achieve, regardless of the ever-advanced procedures on offer, and problems for cosmetic surgery professionals in ensuring that clients fully understand the limitations that will always exist.

There are many, many occasions when cosmetic surgery can have astoundingly positive results but there will often be restricting factors based on a person’s physical make-up for example. This can be disappointing for some clients who want to look like their favourite star or completely alter the shape of their body but it is vital that cosmetic surgeons do all they can to ensure that people do not undergo procedures with unrealistic aims.

The future may make this primary objective of surgeons easier, however, with the advent of technology to allow 3D printing that will clearly show what the outcomes will be in model form. These ‘sculptures’ also have the potential to make it easier for clients to practically demonstrate how they want to look.

This technology is already in use, although not widely – yet. It is not unlikely, however, that the future of cosmetic surgery will see the increasing use of such techniques to give clients an even greater insight into the outcomes, relying more on a physical replica rather than on an individual’s ability to process the explanations offered by their surgeon or to explain their own needs.

Could 3D printing revolutionise cosmetic surgery consultations

It is already possibly to produce a visual representation of the potential results from cosmetic surgery but the new MirrorMe3D facial replicas take this a step further by producing a 3-D print-out of a person’s face. Individuals then have the opportunity to compare this ‘new’ face with their existing features to see the effects that surgery could have.

The MirrorMe3D company also plans to offer an order-from-home service, where people can upload photographs of themselves – either their face or their breasts – and order 3D prints-outs that, potentially, they can take along to their own cosmetic surgery consultations.

This could help clients explain better to surgeons what they want to achieve from surgery, although it will always be essential for them to take advice from their own consultant who will be far better-placed to offer them individualised opinion and advice.