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New DigiBreast3D technology provides reliable data for surgeons

The rising incidence of breast cancer has created an increased demand for breast reconstruction. However the UK National Mastectomy and Reconstruction audit showed that that one in ten mastectomy patients and one in six reconstruction patients required additional surgery.

Surgeons rely on a standard set of manual measurements to plan the reconstruction and choose the breast implant, but this approach does not allow an accurate reconstruction of the breast shape and asymmetries can easily arise after surgery.

As such, Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wanted to establish the feasibility and accuracy of using Microsoft's Kinect depth cameras for imaging the breast region in three dimensions.

Dr Jonathan Wheat and Dr Simon Choppin worked collaboratively with the trust to develop the DigiBreast3D system. DigiBreast 3D uses Microsoft Kinect to allow simple, inexpensive, 3D surface imaging of the breast region for pre-operative planning, post-operative evaluation of surgical outcome and comparison of different breast reconstruction surgical techniques.

DigiBreast3D is a value for money, easy to use innovation with demonstrated acceptable accuracy. The system can be used across the NHS and there are no special requirements for use or training – 3D scans can be taken by anyone with basic computer training.

The technology will enable surgeons to improve quality and patient satisfaction by optimising surgical outcomes in breast cancer patients undergoing reconstruction surgery.

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