Women undergoing breast augmentation surgery may achieve better outcomes with implant-size selection systems that are based on breast tissue measurements, according to a research review in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Tissue-based planning (TBP) systems, which use clinical guidelines to determine the optimal breast implant dimensions for individual patients, appear superior to the patient’s or surgeon’s own preference.
Related: AFG for breast augmentation
The researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, identified 33 studies on implant-size selection systems.
Systems were divided into three categories: no breast measurements (implants chosen solely by patient or surgeon preference); dimensional analysis systems (implants chosen to establish a desired result); and TBP (breast tissue measurements for implant selection, with little to no flexibility).
TBP studies found lower rates of repeat surgery compared to industry standards and accepted research values.
However, only four of the 33 studies reported clinical outcomes that could be contrasted to any standard, and none of the studies compared two or more sizing systems.
The authors acknowledged that the implant selection can be emotional for the plastic surgeon, as he balances his role as “artist” with “engineer.” Therefore, some TBP systems take a “middle-of-the-road” approach that is based both on measurements and the patient’s aesthetic wishes.
Based on the research review, the authors are evaluating a new implant-specific TBP system to help surgeons select from a limited number of manufactured implant styles and models.