Is the Vectra 3D good enough to replace intraoperative sizers?

One of the surgeons I am interested in uses the Vectra 3D instead of interoperative sizers. Is this software system accurate enough to make intraoperative sizers unnecessary or should they still be used in combination with the Vectra system? Thank you for your input.

Doctor Answers 15

Vectra 3d just another tool

Three-dimensional (3D) photography is an innovative technology that exists today. A single system captures 3D photos of the face, breast, and body.  The high-resolution images are processed and patients are able to visualize their anatomy, surgical options, and expected outcomes.  Ultimately, patients are better informed and educated with the use of this technology. However, the 3D photography is just a tool that helps deliver quality results.  It is similar to sizers.  None of these are replacement for surgical experience.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Vectra 3 D imaging

There is no substitute for plastic surgical experience but imaging is a useful tool.  The use of sizers is up to the individual surgeon.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


We have the Vectra in our office and find that it is a very nice tool to give the patient some additional information about what she may look like with a certain set of implants.However, if the patient needs a lift or even has a slight amount of droop to her breasts, the 3D simulations are less reliable.Many of our patients will actually still try on implants in a bra and look at themselves in a mirror as handling the implants and placing them into a bra gives the patient a more physical and direct experience in the whole process.Ultimately, there is no substitute for a good and thorough consultation with your surgeon who will evaluate your breasts, your tissue, your skin, and your chest wall dimensions.Then, you and your surgeon can come to an informed decision on how to obtain your particular goals.We use intraoperative sizers mainly when there is a significant size discrepancy between the breasts.In this situation, we have usually preoperatively determined the implant size for the smaller breast and intraoperatively size the larger breast to match.All of these modalities are used to determine implant size.There is no absolutely best way.The most important thing is that the implant chosen is appropriate for your frame and tissues.

Gregory A. Wiener, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Is the Vectra 3D good enough to replace intraoperative sizers?

Although beneficial Vectra 3D is only and adjunct in determining the eventual size. This also applies to intraoperative sizers. In the end, it's the surgeon's clinical expertise that will deeming the correct size. All of these tools are used I aiding the surgeon. Good luck

Jose Perez-Gurri, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 232 reviews

Breast imaging

We don't do breast imaging currently in my practice. But choosing a surgeon based on whether or not they use vectra or sizers is not really important in my opinion. Imaging systems are really just marketing tools. You should be asking yourself does the surgeon you are considering get great results. Do you feel like he/she can make you the size you want. In my practice we have patients show a photo of the size they want to achieve. I think this works the best but everyone will have their own opinions. 

David E. Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

3D imaging is a good tool to discuss the size before surgery

The main purpose of the imaging is be able to discuss the size of the implants with patients before surgery and get feedback about the shape and size. The problem with the intra-operative sizers is that you can not get patients feedback. 

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Implant Replacement - Tips on Choosing the best size

There is no standard of care. Each surgeon has their own comfort level with predictability. My observation is that the Vectra and alternative image programs are not accurate for breast asymmetry, or sagging (ptosis). That is why uncooperative sizers are so helpful for all situations. It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape implant you will require to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast augmentation surgery including different approaches, techniques and implant choices. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the existing base width of your breast will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate; a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width breast, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Therefore, just because your friend may have a great result with let’s say a 350 cc implant to make her go from a “A” cup to a “C” cup size does not mean that you will have the same result with the same size implant. . Further simply placing implants in a bra to determine the size best for you is not always accurate as the bra often distorts the size, is dependent on the pressure the bra places plus the implant is outside your breast and not under it among other variables. Computer software morphing programs that automatically determine the best implant size can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn’t work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts). Using “want to be” photos however are useful if simply provided to the surgeon,

Additional critical decisions will also be made by your plastic surgeon such as: whether your implants will be above or below your pectoralis muscle. These choices are recommended to you based on the look you desire, the amount of sagging you may have, and other deciding factors. For more than 25 years, I have tried just about every method to best understand and achieve the patient’s optimal goal. The following is what I have found to be most accurate: To start with, I have found it most helpful for patients to bring in photos from my or other plastic surgeons’ websites to illustrate what they would like to look like. This gives me detailed standardized views and information both qualitative (shape, perkiness) and qualitative (size) and allows me to discuss with my patients how I can best achieve their objectives as well as realistic expectations. For example, though I always tell my patients that I cannot make them exactly the same as a photo because everyone has different anatomical constraints. However, these ”ideal” breast photos are brought to the operating room for reference during surgery so that I have the advantage of “seeing through my patient’s eyes” to best achieve their wishes. Even if the photo does not match their height or weight, I and most plastic surgeons are very good at translating the proportionality of the photo to your features.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Vectra 3D

No imaging program is good enough to replace clinical judgement.  I don't usually use sizers, but make my implant selection based on patient's dimensions and expressed desires.  Preoperative sizers can be helpful.

John Zannis, MD
New Bern Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Is Vectra 3D better than intraoperative sizers?

Video technology can be cool and helpful in determining which size implant to use, but it can never replace actually putting in a sizer or implant and seeing what it actually looks like in place.  Unfortunately, the patient is asleep during surgery and can't give any feedback at that point.  Still, based on my 24 years of experience, I vote for using the sizer over the Vectra 3D.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Is the Vectra 3D good enough to replace intraoperative sizers?

In my experience (34 years) the use of intraoperative sizers is the most accurate way to determine final implant size. Digital imaging provides an estimate however once the implant pocket is dissected placing a sizer is very valuable in my experience and is what I rely on.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.