Breast Augmentation and Computer Imaging
If you are considering breast augmentation
and breast implants
, you must be curious to see what you will look like with different size implants. Surgeons have various techniques for deciding which implant size will be best for your body: from time tested rice bags to sophisticated measuring equipment. In fact, on this site alone, we have many articles and resources on different ways to determine size, such as:
Some factors that affect which breast implant size you will get include ribcage size, chest shape, existing breast volume and the amount of breast sag
you may have.
When it comes to the size of the implant, projection
(the profile of the breast implant) will impact the look you get from breast augmentation. Usually for women with a narrow frame the high profile breast implant
is a better choice since other size breast implants may be too wide. Conversely, if a woman has a larger frame, the diameter of her breast will be wider; in this case, a low profile
or moderate profile breast implant
will allow the implant to adequately span the width of her breast mound. The plastic surgeon’s choice for patients’ breast implant shape,
profile and size can be estimated many ways, but one of the latest is via computer imaging.
With this innovative technique, a computer generates images that approximate what your post-surgical outcome may look like. Many women feel this is a beneficial tool because they can see what they will look like before making such a big decision.
Virtual Breast Implants
Traditionally, women would walk into their plastic surgeon
’s office with magazine clips of bodies they envied: cleavage they wanted, how clothes should look with their new breast implants and other notes on size and projection. While these are still valid methods and thousands of plastic surgeons still use them, certain plastic surgeons now offer computer imaging technology that augments or replaces this approach. The technology takes your body type and overlays it with a picture based on the type of breast implant
your surgeon recommends. This digital imaging allows breast augmentation patients to see the potential results and use the visuals to help guide their decision.
Plastic Surgeons’ Opinions on Computer Imaging
Depending on which surgeon you speak to about computer imaging, the reviews are mixed. Some surgeons feel patients may not be entirely happy with the potential results since they may differ from the computer generated image. Other surgeons feel the 3D or 4D images (3D with a realistic color photo of you) help patients go forward with their breast augmentation
, breast lift
or breast reduction because it helps them to visualize what they will look like. The bottom line is, you may or may not be better off with computer imaging. Your plastic surgeon can help you decide if you should try it.
Computer imaging may be a great tool to help you envision the potential outcome of your plastic surgery procedure. However, it’s important to realize there is no guarantee of results and what you see may not be what you ultimately get. It is just another tool in a cosmetic surgeon’s office to help you make a decision based on what your figure may look like after breast implants.
Some surgeons may offer bras and breast implants to “try on.” This is the same concept, except here you are able to “feel” the breast implants on your body as well as see what your profile looks like in a mirror. Depending on your plastic surgeon’s values and traditions, either technique is effective for patients pre-surgery consultation.
What to Expect from Computer Imaging
Depending on the type of computer imaging machine your plastic surgeon has, you will need a photo of your torso to base the “before and after” photos on. Once the image is generated, you have your “before” photo. Then, based on the specific criteria you and your plastic surgeon discuss, you will get your “after” photo(s). If you are considering more than one type of breast implant, you can compare the results of both implants to see which more closely matches your desired outcome.
Some machines offer a 3D simulation system which projects your clothed body image onto the system and you can virtually try on implants with a bikini top on, in different sizes. You can view these real time results on-screen at your consultation to help guide the direction you take with your plastic surgeon. The newest technology out offers 4D which uses an actual photo of your chest and torso, rotating the color image in a 360 degree circle so you can view your virtual breasts from all angles. You will then see a “before and after” photo based on the different implants you chose to view on your virtual body. This will help you and your surgeon in determining your preference for your final outcome.
Post operatively, aesthetic results will depend on many factors including how the body heals, your plastic surgeon’s skill and technique, the communication you have with your plastic surgeon regarding your goals and post-surgery protocol. Keep in mind, the “after” image should only be a guide for a general overview of what your body may look like post surgery.
If you are looking for a way to visualize your body’s post-surgical results, then computer modeling for breast size may be of interest to you. To determine if your plastic surgeon
has a machine or software they use to model for patients, it is best to phone the practice and ask what the procedure for breast augmentation consultation
is like and what tools they use to “fit” patients, pre-surgery.