Artificial Intelligence – based on robots using live, personalised measurements – is now assisting aesthetic surgeons to detect and classify skin cancer faster and more accurately than any dermatologist and assess the optimum circumstances for a specific burn wound to heal, all based on real, live, personalised measurements. Not that long ago this would  sound like something from science fiction, but this is what artificial intelligence (Al) has made possible now.
Globally renowned South African specialist maxillofacial and oral surgeon Professor Johan Reyneke noted “having the benefit of AI has unlocked avenues in surgery that would not have been possible otherwise”.

He told “Computer-assisted treatment planning is currently called 3D visual treatment planning. First, we obtain a three-dimensional CT scan of the facial soft tissue and bones. The images are then printed to create a 3D model.

“Let’s say we have a patient with a congenital dentofacial deformity (birth defect). A hard and soft tissue surgical reconstruction is planned. The required reconstruction implant can now be made into a perfect replica of the patient’s face. During surgery, the implant is positioned in the face and it would fit accurately.”

In addition to making surgeries safer, faster and more accurate, AI “helps take unpredictability out of the equation” he emphasised.

And when it comes to ‘big data’, doctors are now able to analyse a massive database to optimise the way they conduct their procedures.

In South Korea, 365mc hospital groups have integrated AI with their surgical instruments to create the world’s first AI-assisted liposuction system – called Motion Capture and Artificial Intelligence-assisted Liposuction (MAIL) – designed to capture billions of movements to identify which have optimum results for a successful surgery.

The 365mc CEO Nam-Chul Kim explained: “If you make an error, it can cause irreparable damage to the muscle tissue, or worse necrosis sets in.”

Hence when a surgeon conducts a liposuction procedure or a student undergoes training, the MAIL system “identifies a risky movement that can potentially cause damage to the patient”. It then sends visual and haptic alerts to the wand in the surgeon’s hand, enabling micro-adjustments in real time while optimising final results and minimising human error.

Meanwhile Swedish virtual aesthetics company Crisalix offers an educational tool to enhance communication between doctors and patients by providing “3D model simulations for a variety of plastic surgery procedures” which allow patients to “see exactly what they could look like after specific treatments – and patients can “create this model from the comfort of their own homes”.

Dr Anushka Reddy, founder of South Africa’s Vivari Medi-Sculpt Clinic, explained the program “allows me to consult with patients, not just talk to them via a Zoom call, but also to look at photos of what they’ve submitted to me and then enhance their photos with Botox and fillers”.

Crisalix CEO Dr Jaime Garcia noted one of the most common questions from aesthetic patients is: “What will I look like after my procedure? Crisalix gives doctors the ability to allow patients to see themselves in a simulation and explore potential outcomes of a procedure.

“They can provide a unique 3D Remote Video consultation service.”
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