One of the biggest fears for any patient who is considering a surgical cosmetic procedure is, “What am I gong to look like?” It’s human nature to want to know the end result, and it’s why we preview movies, try on clothes before buying them and test drive a new car.
While seemingly science fiction, technology has no allowed for plastic surgery patients to see their potential results prior to deciding on surgery. 3D imaging allows the surgeon to show a simulation of what the given procedure will like on the patient’s actual body. Dr. John Diaz of Los Angeles, CA discusses how 3D imaging technology is revolutionizing the way that plastic surgeons do business, leading to the delivery of the best results possible.
3D Imaging Is a Game Changer
“I think 3D imaging is one of the most incredible, revolutionary instruments and tools that plastic surgeons have nowadays to help patients visualize their results,” explains Dr. Diaz. It can be scary for patients to consider a procedure without knowing exactly what the results are going to look like. Photos of friends, celebrities or models who have your ideal breasts or nose or chin can be a great guide for the plastic surgeon. But a 2D image of someone else does not show you how the procedure is going to look on your body. 3D imaging steps in to do just that.
3D imaging removes the fear of the unknown. With the software, a surgeon can take a picture of whatever body part that you are looking to improve such as the nose, face or breasts. Then, in real time, the surgeon can show you an extremely realistic simulation of your results. In fact, with something like breast implants, it allows you to see what each different implant would look like on your body. This is an incredibly valuable tool for helping patients to make a decision about whether or not the procedure is right for them.
3D Imaging Helpful for Both Patient & Surgeon
Just as 3D imaging is a valuable tool for the patient, it is equally valuable for the surgeon. Every surgeon wants to do an exemplary job, to deliver an excellent surgical result. Part of this comes down to technical skill and experience, but another part of it is delivering a result that meets the patent’s expectations. In order to do this, there must be a clear channel of communication between the surgeon and the patient. 3D imaging allows the surgeon to point out things on your body that may limit or affect your final results.
One of the biggest things that 3D imaging helps to predict is asymmetries. “All human beings are naturally asymmetric. No one has a right side that is exactly the same as the left side,” explains Dr. Diaz. 3D imaging enhances the ability of the surgeon to point these things out to the patient. In many cases, these differences are nominal. But because a cosmetic surgical procedure is such an important decision for the patient to make, if the patient is not aware that these asymmetries exist before surgery, he or she may be disappointed afterwards if they see it in their final results. With 3-D imaging, there are no surprises. It allows the surgeon to say, “This is where I predict your asymmetries will be based on your pre-existing asymmetry.” That communication is imperative in making patients feel very, very happy.
Patient Satisfaction Improves with 3-D Imaging
3D imaging has increased patient satisfaction exponentially. The reason for this is patients typically come in for a consultation with a certain expectation of how they’re going to look. However, this expectation is based on someone else’s outcome — a friend or celebrity or photo in a magazine. That’s fine, but it’s not your body. “3D imaging is showing them their results on their body,” says Dr. Diaz.
The expectation of what the patient’s result will look like is so much more realistic that after surgery, which is already a very emotional experience, it removes that fear and anxiety. The result is so similar to what they saw before that it puts the patients at ease, and really helps them understand and accept their results.
Advantages of 3D Imaging Versus 2dD
One of the biggest advantages of 3D imaging is that it is incredibly versatile; it can really be used on almost any procedure. Dr. Diaz has used it for facelift, chin augmentation, cheek augmentation, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, breast lift, breast lift with augmentation, tummy tuck and liposuction procedures.
The other advantage of using 3D imaging as opposed to 2D, which is just one picture of one angle, is that the 3D imaging allows the surgeon to turn the body on the software so that you can see yourself from different angles. This is how we actually move through life so the preview is much more realistic than a static 2D image.
If you are considering a cosmetic surgical procedure and are feeling anxious about your end result, it is worth it to find a plastic surgeon who offers 3D imaging. It is better than any crystal ball at predicting the future of your results.