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Where Do We Look? Assessing Gaze Patterns in Breast Reconstructive Surgery with Eye-Tracking Technology.

Authors
  • Cai, Lawrence Z1
  • Paro, John A M
  • Lee, Gordon K
  • Nazerali, Rahim S
  • 1 Palo Alto, Calif. From the Stanford School of Medicine and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Plastic and reconstructive surgery
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2018
Volume
141
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004106
PMID: 29481389
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Aesthetics plays a large role in determining a successful outcome in plastic and reconstructive surgery. As such, understanding perceptions of favorable aesthetics is crucial for optimizing patient satisfaction. Eye-tracking technology offers an unbiased way of measuring how viewers evaluate breast reconstructions. Twenty-nine raters with varied plastic surgery experience were shown 20 images of breast reconstruction at various stages. Breasts were divided into those with nipples and no reconstruction scars, those with nipples and reconstruction scars, and those with reconstruction scars and no nipples. Raters viewed each image for 8 seconds to evaluate aesthetic outcomes. Eye-tracking equipment and software were used to track raters' gaze and analyze the distribution of attention. In breasts with reconstruction scars and no nipples, viewers spent 53.9 percent of the view time examining scars, whereas viewers' attention was divided evenly in breasts with both reconstruction scars and nipples, spending 27.5 percent and 27.7 percent of view time examining the nipples and reconstruction scars, respectively. When examining complete reconstructions, viewers spent more time scanning the entire image before fixating on scars and spent less time on single-site fixation. Complete reconstructions, which notably include the final nipple-areola complex, appear to play an important role in restoring normal viewing parameters. In essence, completed breast reconstructions with nipple-areola complexes divert attention from extraneous surgical scars and lead viewers to assess the breasts more holistically. Eye-tracking technology provides a powerful link between objective gaze and viewer attention that may potentially be used to predict subjective aesthetic preferences.

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