Written by Jill Willie
It is not exactly a crystal ball, but it’s close. With the latest in 3D imaging technology, Dr. Michele Cooper can help you visualize a breast augmentation and customize your cosmetic experience. Dr. Cooper is the exclusive provider of the Vectra 3D imaging camera on the Northshore. She has found that this technology enables her to better communicate with the patient to understand their expectations and achieve their desired results. “Many women would like to increase their breast size or fullness, but they are not sure how different implants will affect their appearance. With our VECTRA 3D camera, they can literally see a variety of possible results, enabling them to compare and ultimately decide which implants fit their body the best,” she says.
VECTRA’s unique technology utilizes multiple pictures taken simultaneously from a variety of angles. The program also relies on detailed information about a patient’s anatomy which Dr. Cooper will assess in the physical exam. Once entered into the program, this information provides the patient with a three-dimensional virtual model of themselves which allows the patients to see their results from different points of view. These images may then be modified by Dr. Cooper to show the patient the changes she intends to make. “Our patients can take a more active approach in developing their surgical plan because they can see how different surgical options will affect their appearance.”
A recent patient says she was amazed at how accurate the VECTRA images were to the actual surgical outcome. “I was uncertain about the size of the implants I wanted. Dr. Cooper showed me how the different sizes would look on my body. Because I started with two different-sized breasts, she was also able to show how she planned to even it out. She actually used different-sized implants to make me more symmetrical. The images really helped me make my decision.”
“Ultimately, my practice is about helping people feel more comfortable in their own skin,” she says.
Dr. Cooper estimates that almost 20 percent of breast procedures in this country are “re-do” procedures. There are a number of reasons a patient might decide to return to the operating room, but the most common is dissatisfaction with size or symmetry of the breasts. “We can now show patients, in a very scientific way, what they can expect with different sized implants. There is sometimes a trade off, as not all asymmetries can be fixed. But providing the patient with a visual of that asymmetry and expected correction, the patient has more realistic expectations of their results, and there is a higher level of satisfaction with the outcome,” she says. “Improved patient satisfaction is the biggest reason I was compelled to invest in the V E CTRA equipment,” Dr. Cooper says. “We are constantly striving to find ways to make our patients more involved in the planning process so they can feel good about their decision to undergo a particular cosmetic procedure.”
“Ultimately, my practice is about helping people feel better,” she says. “It’s not just about cosmetic enhancements; it is about the overall well being of our patients—internally and externally.” To achieve this, Dr. Cooper works with a naturopathic doctor, specialists in every field of medicine, and athletic trainers to help the patient achieve these goals. She also, provides a professional line of supplements derived from whole foods, which are medically indicated for each patient’s needs to keep them healthy and feeling well. “Beauty really does come from within,” she says. “ The body is a product of what you put in it. By correcting deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, it not only performs better, it appears better as well.”
It is this type of dedication to her patients that has caused her to be consistently ranked as one of the best local plastic surgeons in the field. Dr. Cooper has earned the vitals.com Patient’s Choice Award in 2010 and 2011. She was also named the Most Compassionate Doctor by the website in 2011. Most recently, Dr. Cooper was recognized by her alma mater, Towson University in Maryland. She received the Distinguished Alumni and Dean’s Recognition Awards from the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics for her professional growth and accomplishments. Last year Dr. Cooper set up a scholarship fund at Towson in the hope of encouraging more students to pursue careers in medicine.
Dr. Cooper is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, specially trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and she has completed a fellowship in pediatric craniofacial surgery. She has published and presented research on various topics including Breast Reconstruction, Breast Augmentation, Basis Joint Arthritis and Perforator Free Flap Reconstruction. In 2002 she was awarded by the Louisiana Society of Plastic Surgeons for her outstanding research. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooper, call 985-626-6163. Her office is located at 1090 West Causeway Approach. Visit www.michelecoopermd.com or www.sculptmydream.com to learn more about the VECTRA 3D Camera.