DR. EPSTEIN’S COMPREHENSIVE Breast Augmentation Guide

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3D Computer Simulation Of Breast Augmentation With Vectra® 3D

How can I visualize the way I will look with implants before undergoing surgery?

Until recently, you really could not do this with any reasonable degree of accuracy. The commonly practiced method of placing an implant, bag of water, rice, peas or any other material in your bra or on top of your breast is not even remotely close to showing you how you would look after surgery. Furthermore, these methods often lead to improper selection of proper implant size.

Despite my skill and extensive experience, many patients are still hesitant to undergo breast surgery because of their worry and uncertainty over achieving the exact results they desire. The VECTRA 3D system puts these fears to rest by creating a 3D image of your breasts and torso to let you visualize how your breasts may look after surgery.  I will determine your ideal implant size using a complex set of measurements of your breasts and tissue quality – this system is called “soft tissue based planning“. After determining the ideal implant size, you will be able to see how you might look with a given implant.

As a leading surgeon who is always on the forefront of the newest breast augmentation technology, I am proud to offer VECTRA 3D imaging consultations for my breast augmentation patients. The VECTRA system provides precise breast measurements and helps my patients and I agree upon realistic goals for surgery.

Personalized Breast Augmentation Imaging

The Vectra 3D takes a high resolution three dimensional image of a subject’s face, breast or body, then allow’s the viewer to rotate the image in any direction and furthermore simulate the results of surgical procedures. It uses six high resolution digital (DSLR) cameras and special proprietary software to create the three dimensional images. In the case of breast augmentation, the system is pre-programmed with the entire library of the dimensions of breast implants from Allergan, Mentor and Sientra, thus allowing one to simulate breast augmentation in three dimensions. In July 2009, I ordered the Vectra and had one of the first systems in the country (I think the manufacturer said it was the 20th system). This became a major game changer in my practice. The Vectra 3D system helps patients to better understand what surgical results they might anticipate, better aligning the patient’s expectations with a realistic outcome and significantly improving patient satisfaction.

Here’s How It Works:

Two rotating topless female torsos side by side, with one on right having larger breasts after breast augmentation surgery
Two rotating topless female torsos side by side, with one on right having larger breasts after breast augmentation surgery

The Vectra 3D imaging system contains an array of six cameras that will take your photograph from many different angles. The computer will then construct a 260 degree, three dimensional image of your torso. I usually take a front and back image, which the computer than “stitches” together to create a full 360 degree image of your torso! This image can be rotated and viewed from almost any angle. The software is pre-programmed with 3D models of several popular implant styles and sizes. The computer will then create a three dimensional simulated image of how you will look after surgery. Then, using Sculptor software, computer simulations of surgical results are created to demonstrate how you might look after surgery. A breast lift with or without implants can be simulated as well! You can then view the before and after images, rotate and move them, and even compare the results with different implants…all from the comfort of the consultation chair. Understand that this is only a computer simulation. Since they are 3D models, these images can be viewed from all angles, as well as side-by-side comparisons and translucent overlays. The computer simulations will vary from the actual results. I am one of the first surgeons in the nation to use the VECTRA 3D system for breast augmentation simulations. Furthermore, I can now upload your images so that you can view them in the privacy of your home, via “ViewMyConsult.com“.


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Here is what I do not do. I do not use the Vectra to allow the woman to select her implants based upon the appearance on the computer screen. This would go against everything I believe in, and my experience since selecting implants this way since June 2004. The reason for this is simple. On a computer screen, you can take an image of a woman’s breast and make it as large as you like. After all, it’s just an image on a screen. However, when you are dealing with human tissue, there are limitations as to how much you can stretch it before you damage or outright destroy it. The image on the screen gives no information as to whether that particular implant will actually fit or look good inside a particular woman’s breasts.

The way I use the Vectra is as follows: I determine ideal breast implant size using the system of soft tissue based planning, I do not give a woman a bra to “try on implants”. This is a ludicrous practice and potentially dangerous as it takes nothing into consideration regarding the tissue characteristics of the woman’s own breasts and often results in using implants too large for a given breast resulting in damage to the breast tissues and the creation of uncorrectable deformities. If you place an implant on top of a breast, then how do you take into account the fact that you need far less implant volume if the breast tissue is tight as opposed to needing more volume if the breast is very lax? Similarly, how do you take into account the base width of the woman’s breast which is the starting point in determining ideal breast implant volume?. I then take the ideal implant size as determined by my measurements with appropriate corrections based upon breast tissue characteristics, and plug that into the Vectra and morph the actual breast/chest image to show how the patient might look with surgery. I say “might” because no computer simulation system is exact, however, it does do a nice job of putting the patient “in the zone” for a reasonable approximation in many cases. In any case, the feedback from my patients both before surgery, as well as after surgery, has been extremely positive and supportive of this technology. Many have commented how close the simulations were to their actual postoperative results, and I have actually compared several simulations to post-operative results and have been similarly impressed with the results.

Before the Vectra, I had absolutely no way of showing a woman, or even giving her any idea as to how she might look after breast augmentation surgery. Now, I can give her a fairly good idea as to how she will look after surgery (I am very careful to tell my patients that this is a computer simulation and that actual results will differ from the computer simulation, but it still provides very useful information for the patient). I became so fascinated with this technology that I took an active role in working with Canfield scientific (the developer of the Vectra) in providing valuable feedback and ideas for further development of the system as a member of the Vectra advisory panel. It has been exciting being a part of this project and seeing the capabilities and accuracy of this system grow and improve each year. My patients absolutely love it as well!

See Your Results At Home Or On Your Phone Or Mobile Device!

After your 3D images are created during your consultation, you will be offered the option to see your Vectra 3D images on your home computer or mobile device. You will be sent an email to log onto a secure web portal called ViewMyConsult. Using SculptMyDream software, you will be able to view your 3D images, and do some additional simulations!

VIDEO: Vectra 3D Breast Augmentation Simulation

This is a very detailed video demonstration of the capabilities of the Vectra 3D system performing computerized simulation of breast augmentation.

Improved Patient Satisfaction Through Precise Results

A VECTRA 3D consultation allows patients to approach their cosmetic surgery with the confidence of understanding what their results might look like. The computer simulations are approximations – no surgeon can guarantee what the surgical result will look like, however, most patients find these simulations extremely helpful. While viewing before-and-after photos of other patients has been successful in the past, patients and doctors can now come to a clearly defined goal for the procedure by making surgical changes to a 3D representation of each individual patient.


This unique technology often results in higher patient satisfaction, as well as reduces the risk of miscommunication between surgeon and patient. The simulation of the final results are visible on the system’s computer screen long before any incisions are made.

My patients absolutely love this. For the first time, they’re able to see a 3D picture of themselves with their new look. Because it’s in 3D, I can rotate their picture to any viewpoint, and they can really examine the desired result. We can make changes here and there and agree on a final look in advance, and this truly helps them make a decision.

Not just for Breast Surgery – Achieve True Facial Beauty

I also specialize in facial procedures designed to help patients achieve the look they desire without sacrificing their defining qualities. Patients considering certain facial procedures can benefit from a consultation using the Vectra 3D system that allows them to visualize what their new face might look like before actually committing to the procedure.

The VECTRA Face Sculptor can be used to create 3D models for rhinoplasty and injectable fillers.


Patients considering one type of facial procedure can also see the benefits of combining more than procedure to achieve facial symmetry and an overall improved appearance. A variety of combinations can be previewed to see which ones provide your desired results. Seeing these images before undergoing surgery can help significantly reduce any stress or worries about your post-surgery appearance.

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