3D Imaging: The Game Changer in Plastic Surgery: Clark Schierle, MD, PHD






Like many in Beverly Hills, Clark Schierle grew up fast — but the direction his life took was not your typical “90210” melodrama. The product of a unique family of German and Chinese architects and educators, Schierle grew up in a multicultural household that he credits with “stretching” his brain. Architectural models were always around the house; not surprisingly, he developed an eye for form and function.

After attending a school for the gifted, Schierle was fast-tracked academically, entering UCLA at the precocious age of 12 where he completed a degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. He was then accepted to an extremely selective program at Harvard, earning both an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD from Harvard University. “When I did a rotation in plastic surgery, it just clicked with something in my genes,” says Schierle. “Like architecture, when you reshape something surgically, it has to look good — but it also has to not fall apart. I really loved the problem-solving aspect of it and the marriage of art and science.”

After graduating from Harvard, Schierle pursued his plastic surgery training in Chicago where he currently practices and focuses on integrating new technologies like 3D imaging both in and out of the operating room. “3D imaging is a total game changer,” says Schierle. “We’ve had fantastic satisfaction with the technology helping our patients visualize and understand their surgery. I’ve integrated it into 100% of my cosmetic and reconstructive consults, completely replacing traditional 2D photography.”

He’s also fascinated with solving difficult cosmetic and recon- structive problems “in ways that are innovative but still based on sound principles.” Schierle’s practice encompasses many patients who travel from around the country and even internationally to seek his expertise, often for revision of previous surgery that has failed to meet expectations or for challenging cosmetic issues like breast asymmetry and nasal reshaping. “The 3D technology allows me to visualize multiple solutions and formulate different surgical plans long after my patient has left the office. It’s invaluable having their file available 24-7 for detailed analysis.”

Schierle has published widely and won national awards for topics as diverse as treatments to improve scarring and innovations in breast surgery. Still, Schierle is proudest of “what I do every day. Helping people rebuild themselves, whether after cancer, trauma, or just fixing something they’ve never been happy with… that’s a never ending source of satisfaction and inspiration.”