Breast Augmentation: How Do I Know This Works for Me?By Eric Hamilton, UniversityHerald Reporter
When it comes to cosmetic surgeries, it can be disconcerting to go through a procedure without a clear understanding of what your body will look like post-operation. This is especially true of breast augmentation since there are many stories online of people feeling unhappy with their results.
Cosmetic breast specialists want what is best for their patients and recommend a wide range of tools they can use to simulate what your body may look like post-procedure. This can include simple photo editing, as well as full-on virtual reality simulations. With so many breast augmentation options, it can be hard to know what works best for you.
Here are some tried and true methods that surgeons uses as part of their practice so you can make a better and more informed decision.
Appropriate Examination and Measurements
In your consult, your surgeon will measure the width of your current breasts and determine your "ideal breast width." This is the foundation to picking an implant that is appropriate for your body. The surgeon will also measure the amount of loose skin on the breast to determine the overall size of an appropriate implant and may perhaps recommend a skin reducing mastopexy at the time of your augmentation.
Crisalix 3D is a virtual imaging tool that breast specialists use to plan, prepare, and set realistic expectations for their patients. This technology is widely used in the aesthetics field to simulate what different cosmetic procedures may look like on a given patient. Though it can be used for breast augmentation, the program also works for body and facial reconstruction.
Several plastic surgeons use this system in their practices, such as Dr. Troy Pittman of Somenek+PittmanMD: Advanced Plastic Surgery in Washington, DC. "Since implementing the program into our practice, our patients have been more engaged and tend to feel more comfortable going through their procedure. This simulation offers them a visual of what they could look like post-op."
Plastic surgeons may also use technologies like Crisalix 3D for other breast procedures. The program, and other similar versions, let doctors see if the patient simply needs a breast lift or if they will require a complete surgery. It also provides the patient a preview of the visual change they should expect from surgery. Once that has been decided, the surgeon can then review different breast sizes with clients to see what best fits their desires.
There is No Right Way
Just like how there is no right way to paint a painting, there is no right way to get a breast augmentation. Some doctors may feel more comfortable using traditional methods, while others like to use the newest technological innovations. Both are safe and acceptable methods.
That does not mean that those different methods do not have pros and cons. Digital simulations are much easier for patients to tailor and visually explain what they want to change. There are perks to each method and it usually comes down to what the surgeon recommends. Some surgeons even recommend multiple methods.
Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all illustration tool for every surgery that a cosmetic practice offers. It is best to see what your plastic surgeon recommends for you and compare that with what makes you feel most comfortable.