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3D Surface Scan

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A 3-D surface scan takes pictures of the patient to provide a visual record of the condition. The images are taken in a booth that includes several cameras. These cameras are positioned to obtain photographs from multiple angles of the anatomy under consideration. This may involve the face, the entire head, the torso or the whole body. The images are then combined to create a photorealistic 3-D static image of the patient.

A team of experts from Children’s Health, including surgeons and therapists, reviews these 3-D images and make recommendations for the care of the patient.

When you visit the Analytical Imaging and Modeling (AIM) Center at Children’s Health, an imaging specialist will welcome you and provide you with an overview of the imaging procedure planned for your child. Parents or guardians can accompany the patient to the imaging lab.

All images are obtained in a private lab, and one patient is scanned at a time. Appointments at the AIM Center may vary in length depending on the imaging employed and protocol used.

What to Expect

During a 3-D surface scan the patient will enter a booth that contains several cameras to obtain the images needed. The patient will be asked to remove clothing, jewelry accessories or makeup depending on the anatomy being imaged.

If an image of the head or face is needed, a cap made of thin stocking-type material will be placed on the patient’s head to flatten the hair, as this may interfere with image accuracy.

Once the patient is ready, images will be taken. The scanning lasts less than one second. During this time, a flash, like one from a regular picture camera, will produce light, and all the cameras will take the images instantly.

Depending on the clinical or research need for imaging, the patient may be asked to perform a task such as creating a particular facial expression, like smiling or posing in a neutral facial expression. Multiple images might be taken with various tasks.

The procedure takes approximately five minutes. Once all the images are captured, the patient will be escorted to the main lobby.

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