What will breast implants look like on me? 3D Imaging can show you

William Bruno, MD
Article by
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

     Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States.  Many patients who seek out this procedure also want to know how they will look once the implants are inserted.  Unfortunately, the only way most surgeons can show their patients is by having them look at "before and after" photos of other patients or by having them place implants in a bra and guess which size is best.  These methods are not very accurate and provide only minimal reassurance to the patient before committing to undergoe the actual surgery.  We now have a more accurate method of simulating what patients may look like with breast implants: before actually having the surgery.

     The technology involves recreating a 3D image of a patient's breasts and torso through the use of a specialized camera and computer software.  The device is called the Vectra 3D Mirror system.  Basically a patient stands in front of a specialized camera with multiple mirrors, a photo is taken, then a 3D image is recreated on the computer in about two to three minutes.  Once the image is obtained, the surgeon can move the image of your torso in virtually any direction so you can see yourself from the side, front, from the top or even looking up from your feet.  Then you and your surgeon can select breast implants of varying sizes which show you how you may look with the augmentation. You can look at a 300cc implant for example then change it to a 400cc breast implant.  The possibilities are practically limitless.

     The best part about this technology is that it can actually show you what you may look like with breast implants. You. Not someone else from a before and after book. It's your breasts,your skin, your nipple/areola, etc.  The image is often times helpful to the surgeon also as it can illustrate certain asymmetries which may need to be addressed during the surgery.

     Finally we can help answer the question:  "What will I actually look like after surgery?"

     I have been using this system in my practice for almost two years now and the results are very accurate in demonstrating to patients which implants will look the best on them.  It really takes a lot of the guesswork out of selecting which breast implant to use. More importantly, patients can visualize how the new implants will look on themselves.

     I hope this article is helpful for those considering breast augmentation who have been uncertain about breast implant size.