Background Accurate breast volume assessment is a prerequisite to preoperative planning, as well as intraoperative decision making in breast reconstruction surgery. The use of three-dimensional surface imaging (3D scanning) to assess breast volume has many advantages. However, before employing 3D scanning in the field, the tool’s validity should be demonstrated. The purpose of this study was to confirm the validity of 3D-scanning technology for evaluating breast volume. Methods We reviewed the charts of 25 patients who underwent breast reconstruction surgery immediately after total mastectomy. Breast volumes using the Axis Three 3D scanner, water-displacement technique, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were obtained bilaterally in the preoperative period. During the operation, the tissue removed during total mastectomy was weighed and the specimen volume was calculated from the weight. Then, we compared the volume obtained from 3D scanning with those obtained using the water-displacement technique, MRI, and the calculated volume of the tissue removed. Results The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of breast volumes obtained from 3D scanning, as compared to the volumes obtained using the water-displacement technique and specimen weight, demonstrated excellent reliability. The ICC of breast volumes obtained using 3D scanning, as compared to those obtained by MRI, demonstrated substantial reliability. Passing-Bablok regression showed agreement between 3D scanning and the water-displacement technique, and showed a linear association of 3D scanning with MRI and specimen volume, respectively. Conclusions When compared with the classical water-displacement technique and MRI-based volumetry, 3D scanning showed significant reliability and a linear association with the other two methods.
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