Commonly associated with gaming and the film industry, virtual reality is quickly evolving and entering the world of medicine, enhancing both pre-operative expectations and post-operative results. Various providers have acknowledged the benefits of this new technology and began utilizing it during consultations for plastic surgery.
Previously, surgeons relied on two dimensional images and limited views of 3D printing to provide patients with an outlook of their potential results. However, due to differentiating body types, such images may not always provide accurate representations, hindering surgeons’ ability to communicate realistic outcomes with clients. As stated by plastic surgeon, Dr. Sean Kelishadi, “[VR and 3D printing] further reduces the uncertainty and issues because of the planning, envisioning and experience they enable. The creative aspect of working with these technologies is also incredibly freeing and much different to simply working with a flat screen. In the future, thanks to haptics and other wearable technology we’ll get to a seamless point where people are going to put on goggles and see and feel themselves before and after a tummy tuck or facelift.”
In addition, virtual reality aids in tailoring and personalizing the consultation process, allowing patients to receive a first-person view of their cosmetic or reconstructive procedure from all angles as they ‘try on’ different looks. Various patients have reported feeling more empowered and at ease with their decision to proceed with surgery. Tiffany Hayden, a patient who experienced the new technology commented, “You put the goggles on and you look side to side, you look down and it’s like you’re really – already had the surgery,” she said. “The results are like exactly the same as when I had the goggles on. I couldn’t believe it. I really couldn’t.”
No longer confined to the world of film and gaming, virtual reality has exceeded its original expectations providing patients with a glimpse of their potential results post-surgery. Expected to become a vital aspect to the patient aesthetic journey, virtual reality has taken plastic surgery and the aesthetics industry to new levels, providing both confidence and a more idealized expectation for patients.