Grant S. Hamilton, III, M.D., is investigating clinically translatable predictive models, tissue biomechanics and patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes.
Dr. Hamilton has partnered with Mayo Clinic's 3D Anatomic Modeling Laboratories to create 1-to-1 surgical models for preoperative planning and custom prosthetics for nonsurgical treatment of septal perforations and complex rhinoplasties. He is also applying eye tracking software to better understand the impact of the location, color and orientation of facial defects on viewers.
- Patient satisfaction. Dr. Hamilton and colleagues in the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery's Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery are developing a predictive model to help clarify which patients are more or less likely to be satisfied with surgery, which will be a valuable tool for increasing patient and surgeon satisfaction. The research team has demonstrated that preexisting personality traits and psychiatric diagnoses are unrelated to patient satisfaction, and the validated consumer decision-making tool was able — for the first time — to successfully predict postoperative satisfaction.
- Rhinoplasty planning. Dr. Hamilton and colleagues have used CT scans of patients to develop normative data for the variable thickness of the soft tissue of the nose, which is distorted during rhinoplasty surgery by edema and local anesthesia. They have shown that experts in nasal analysis can reliably predict soft tissue thickness from photographs only, which will greatly improve procedures and outcomes for this challenging surgery.
- 3D printing. Dr. Hamilton's research team has worked closely with Mayo Clinic experts in radiology and prosthodontics to develop 3D-printed models that can be used for planning before surgery. They have also created custom prosthetics to repair septal perforations that are unlikely to be closed with conventional surgical methods.
- 3D modeling. Dr. Hamilton is working to fundamentally change the way surgeons perform septoplasty — a common head and neck operations with a relatively high rate of failure or revision. He and his research team have created a computer model based on micro CT scans of anatomical specimens and identified a more stable surgical structure for the septum. They are now performing a similar analysis of the nasal tip cartilages, which is possible for the first time due to more-advanced imaging technology.
- Eye tracking. Dr. Hamilton is studying how eye tracking technology can help determine the relative impact and importance of various facial defects to viewers. Using eye tracking, it is possible to measure how distracting a skin cancer defect or a nasal deformity actually may be.
Significance to patient care
As a faculty member in Mayo Clinic's Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Hamilton believes that research is integrally important to improving patient care. Facial plastic surgery is unique within otolaryngology in that a good outcome is defined by mutual agreement between the patient and surgeon before surgery. Dr. Hamilton's research uses cutting-edge technology to improve planning, procedures and quality of life before, during and after patients undergo facial plastic surgery.
- Section editor, Facial Plastic Surgery, Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 2013-2023
- Co-director, Facial Plastic Surgery course, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery annual meeting, 2019-present
- Visiting professor and only invited outside faculty member, British Society of Facial Plastic Surgery dissection course "Facial Aesthetic Cadaveric Training," University of Manchester Medical Sciences, Manchester, England, United Kingdom, 2020
- Guest editor, Facial Plastic Surgery, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2016
- Recipient, Foundation grant, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2015
- Guest editor, Facial Plastic Surgery, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2011