American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Can 3D imaging help you pick the perfect breast implants?

breast implants 3D imaging

Choosing the right size breast implants is at the very top of a woman's priority list when planning her breast augmentation, and understandably so. After all, one of the main goals of this procedure is to enhance breast volume, so picking the right size is certainly important.

With that said, making a decision about implant size can be much more involved than patients might realize, which is why using a 3D imaging can be so helpful.

How does 3D imaging work?

Vectra 3D Imaging and similar 3D imaging devices essentially allow you to "try on" various sizes, shapes and profiles of breast implants to help visualize how your final breast augmentation results could look on your body.

First, the 3D imaging device scans your body and takes photographs at many different angles. The computer software then uses this information to create a 3D model of your body, which you and your plastic surgeon can then use to virtually try on different breast implant types and sizes to see which ones seem to be the best fit for you.

The difference between breast volume and cup size

One of the most confusing parts about picking an implant size for most women is that breast implants are not measured in bra cup sizes, because there is no uniform standard of measurement that corresponds to a specific cup size. In other words, a B cup from one brand can be entirely different from a B cup in another brand. Then you have to factor in all the different style options, making it virtually impossible to discuss an accurate measurement using only cup size.

To avoid this problem, breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters, abbreviated as "cc" of volume. This way, an implant that is 350 cc will always be the same size and can be very accurately measured.

Understanding implant profiles

In addition to choosing an implant size, you're also going to have to decide on an implant profile. This refers to the amount of outward projection from your chest your implants will have. For example, a high profile implant will have the most projection, while a low-profile implant will project the least. Moderate and moderate plus profiles are right in the middle.

Most women are candidates for moderate and moderate plus profiles. However, women with narrow chests may see very nice results from high profile implants, and those with wider chests may find low to moderate profile implants are better suited to them. Comparing breast implant profiles is another factor that 3D imaging can help you visualize.

Other tips for choosing the right breast implants

An at-home alternative to 3D imaging is using rice sizers, which you can make yourself and then place inside your bra to give you an idea of how different implant sizes look and feel. This is not as accurate as 3D imaging, of course, but can be a great starting point before you schedule your initial consultation.

Another way to gauge how your results may look is to look at before and after breast augmentation photos that feature women who have similar a body type and build as yours. Otherwise, you'll be getting a skewed idea of how certain implants might look on your body. The same size implants can look very different on a woman with a tall, slender frame compared to a shorter, more curvaceous woman!

Finally, don't hesitate to ask the professional opinion of your board-certified plastic surgeon. Your plastic surgeon will be your primary resource throughout the entire breast augmentation process and can help you make the best decisions about breast implant size, shape and profile based on your needs and goals.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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