Quantitative, Volumetric Data Useful in Breast Augmentation and Breast Cancer Prevention

Nurse With Patient About To Have A MammogramThe plastic and reconstructive surgeons at Atlanta Plastic Surgery perform a variety of breast surgeries including:  breast augmentation (enhancement), breast reduction, breast lift (mastopexy), breast revision, and breast reconstruction.  You may be familiar with the A,B,C lettering label system associated with bra size, but  if recent news from the FDA is any proof, numbers are the most useful tool in cosmetic breast procedures and breast cancer prevention.

Breast implants, saline or silicone filled shells inserted atop or underneath the pectoral muscles of women, are used in Atlanta breast augmentation or Atlanta breast reconstruction to enhance the appearance of the breasts.  Implant size, unlike bra size, is best described in terms of volume (measured in cubic centimeters). Because each woman’s frame, weight, natural breast shape, and skin elasticity will affect the overall appearance of an implant, volumetric data is most useful in determining optimal implant for breast enlargement surgery.

Like implant measurements, quantitative data is becoming more and more valuable for radiologists in the prevention of breast cancer.  Announced via press release on November 19th, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new mammography breast imaging software (Volpara™), which calculates and tracks the breast density of patients to better identify masses in the breasts of patients with naturally dense breast tissue.

Until this development, radiologists could only instruct patients with dense tissue to undergo additional (and costly) imaging like an MRI or ultrasound to thoroughly review any questionable areas and ensure the breast was cancer-free.  While the inventors of the technology don’t explicitly point to the machines use with breast surgery patients, one could speculate that the software’s advantageous ability to track density changes over time would also be useful for breast reconstruction patients who may have extensive scar tissue from previous surgeries which could muddle the results of traditional mammography.  Additionally, the technology seems to show promise for patients with breast implants who currently have to undergo an MRI every two years to check for changes to their breast implants.

Atlanta Plastic Surgery’s surgeons continually expand the planning and imaging technology they utilize in pediatric and adult reconstructive surgeries.  To read more about emerging plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery technology, visit the Atlanta Plastic Surgery website and continue to read their practice-wide blog.