PURPOSE In the volar plating of distal radius fractures, intraoperative three-dimensional (3D) imaging is designed to allow better judgment regarding screw and implant positioning compared with conventional intraoperative two-dimensional (2D) imaging. We evaluated the impact of these two imaging modalities on the rates of intraoperative revision and secondary surgery, as well as the need for implant removal during follow-up. METHODS A retrospective analysis of consecutive patients who underwent volar plate osteosynthesis for isolated distal radius fractures between January 2008 and April 2016 was performed. Patient files were evaluated for intraoperative imaging findings, intraoperative and postoperative revision rates, and implant removal during follow-up. Additional analyses of radiation exposure, operation time, and hospitalization time were performed. RESULTS A total of 314 patients were analyzed (mean age: 54 ± 19 years; 210 females). For 246 patients, only 2D imaging was performed, while the remaining 68 patients underwent both 2D and 3D imaging (O-Arm, Medtronic). The intraoperative revision rate was significantly (p < 0.001) higher with 3D imaging (32.4%) compared with 2D imaging (2.0%). The postoperative revision rates were similar between both the groups (2.9% vs. 2.0%; p = 0.674). Compared with 2D imaging, the use of the Medtronic O-Arm resulted in a significantly lower implant removal rate (8.8% vs. 18.7%; p = 0.036) during follow-up. CONCLUSION Compared with conventional 2D imaging, the use of intraoperative 3D imaging significantly increased the intraoperative revision rate and has the potential for positive long-term effects for lowering the risk of requiring an implant removal.