Once you decide to have a breast augmentation and choose your surgeon, the next question becomes, “How much bigger do I want to be?” Plastic surgeons talk in terms of cc’s (cubic centimeters) while prospective patients often request a certain cup size. The final size of the implant is predicated on the translation of a patient’s desired result and the surgeon’s assessment of their anatomy.
Dr. Daniel Y. Maman, a board certified plastic surgeon who practices in Manhattan, recalls scheduling breast augmentation patients for “sizing” appointments. “We would have sample implants in every size we offer and patients would put them in their bra and get an idea of the size implant they would like. Although this worked pretty well for years, it remains a relatively inaccurate representation of the final result.” All that has changed with Vectra 3D Imaging, which Maman calls, “revolutionary.”
Vectra 3D is a proven clinical imaging solution. During a Vectra 3D consultation, a 3D camera takes a series of photos to generate a three-dimensional image of a patient’s body. It provides a simulation that creates high resolution images which can then be modified to help patients understand how aesthetic changes would look on their own body. The surgeon and the patient can see potential surgical results from all angles to estimate what final results might look like.
Maman believes that Vectra imaging is invaluable in framing the discussion regarding sizing. “We have loaded the system with our offering of FDA available implants and can change every parameter of the implant–not only size but width, projection, height–and give patients a clear picture.” Overlaying a pre-op image with the simulated outcome makes the differences more apparent. Essentially the patient’s own image is used to explore possible outcomes, educate them about their options, explain limitations and set appropriate expectations. “The consultation takes on a whole new tone when we can quickly arrive at a shared understanding of objectives.”
More Confidence, Less Surprises
Maman has noticed patients seem more comfortable taking the step to schedule surgery. “They are much more secure and excited in their decision to move forward, because they have seen the final result,” he explains. In addition, patients can take their images home to review with their friends or significant others that might not have had the opportunity to accompany them to their consultation.
Vectra imaging also helps greatly with patient satisfaction. Maman cites formal studies that show the highest likelihood or greatest indication for revisional breast augmentation is patients’ dissatisfaction with size. “The majority of patients stated they wanted to be bigger instead of smaller. Now they have a better idea beforehand. There are no surprises.”
“Now that we offer Vectra 3D imaging it is hard to remember how we did it before,” admits Maman. He feels patient satisfaction feeds into surgeon satisfaction at the highest level. “Our patients are enormously happy. I think one of the most important things we do and our greatest responsibility is offering our patients the newest technology available.” Other surgeons who offer it concur that it is the best communication tool that exists. No more guesswork, just predictable results.