One of my favorite tools to use with our patients interested in getting breast implants at our Long Island practice is 3-D imaging. This technology allows us to manipulate photographs of our patients to show them what they would look like with various sizes or styles of implants. We’ve seen the value in this system for years, and now it’s also been confirmed by recent research.
A study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons®, surveyed 150 women who utilized 3-D imaging during their consultation process before undergoing breast augmentation. Not only did 81% of those patients say that the imaging system “helped them very much in choosing the implant,” but 83% actually said seeing a simulation very much affected their decision to undergo surgery.
The study also measured the accuracy of the simulations, meaning how closely they matched up with the surgical results that followed. The researchers asked both patients and an independent panel to weigh in. Among patients, 86% said the simulated image was very accurate in predicting their results. The panel also graded the simulations well, particularly regarding characteristics such as projection, breast width, and height.
This study quantifies what I’ve seen using 3-D imaging at our practice, but one thing I personally like about the technology is how much it helps patients understand what they can expect from surgery. Regardless of how many before-and-after photos of others our patients look at, it’s still sometimes hard to actually picture results for themselves. This takes the guesswork out of it.
The study’s authors came to another important conclusion: 3-D imaging works best when an experienced plastic surgeon talks patients through their options. Consult such a surgeon who uses 3-D simulations to glimpse how you could look with fuller breasts.