Once the domain of the rich and famous, cosmetic procedures are on the rise now for members of the general public. In fact, over 15 million procedures were carried out last year in the US alone.
Face lifts are one of the most common requested surgeries, but many people are afraid of the final results, and when you consider that even Hollywood actors such as Mickey Rourke are not immune from a botched operation, how do you ensure your surgery is a success?
One New York company has the answer. MirrorMe3D uses 3D printing to create life-sized busts of the results of cosmetic surgery. So now you can see what you will look like after the operation, but without actually undergoing the procedure. If you like what you see then you can go ahead, if not, then you can ask for a different method, or maybe decide not to have the operation altogether.
MirrorMe3D says that by being able to view the printed busts from all angles allows the person contemplating cosmetic surgery to see the results more accurately. This gives them a better idea of what the surgery can and cannot do for them.
The 3D printed models cost from $60 (£38) to $300 (£192) for a life-size bust, and works by scanning the person’s face. This data is then fed into the 3D printer, and depending on which size has been selected, a bust is then printed out.
Options include nose jobs and breast enlargements and a ‘facial subunit’ option which the company say is ideal for targeting facial features.
MirrorMe3D was founded by plastic surgeon Carrie Stern, who came up with the idea after realising that people understood something they could see and hold better than looking at data:
She told Quartz magazine: “Patients are not good at understanding 3D simulations on a computer screen.”
The 3D prints are available for either potential cosmetic surgery patients, or doctors who want to show their patients what they will look like after surgery. This is so that they can make a decision on the surgery before they actually go ahead, and then possibly regret the permanent change.
Of course, many plastic surgeons already have 3D printers in their surgeries, so this option could easily be offered as part of the consultation package and could make the decision process much easier.
Stern said that although initial reactions to the life-sized busts are a little strange, with some people being “a little taken aback” once they see the 3D printed versions of themselves, she says there has been a “tremendous response from surgeons and patients.”
The busts are not just selling as part of a cosmetic procedure decision process. Stern said that people are buying them for themselves, as they simply cannot resist having a life-sized version of their bust or face. And some people have bought them as gifts for friends and family.
“It’s definitely eye-catching,” Stern said.
All images courtesy MirrorMe3D.