A retrospective study was undertaken to determine the pre- and postoperative presence of visible veins in the skin across the breast of patients seeking breast augmentation, and the impact of this phenomenon on patient satisfaction.
From a series of 97 consecutive patients who underwent cosmetic breast augmentation surgery, 78 patients were available with sufficient 3-view pre- and postoperative (first available moment within 3–26 weeks postoperatively) photographic material available for analysis. A venous prominence scale was developed to grade the extent and amount of venous visibility in the skin across the breast and to compare the preoperative situation with the postoperative outcome. Additional information on patient's characteristics and self-reported opinions related to pre- and postaugmentation body images were obtained using a structured self-administered questionnaire.
Preoperatively, minimal visibility of veins in the skin across the breast (grade 1) was already present in more than half (59%) of the patients seeking breast augmentation. After augmentation, there was an increase in visible (prominent) veins in almost all (96.2%) patients, generally by 1 or 2 grades, according to our venous prominence scale. Questionnaire analysis revealed that few patients are aware of this phenomenon, and even fewer patients dislike it.
Many patients seeking breast augmentation already have minimal visibility of veins in the skin across the breast that increases in almost all patients after augmentation. It was quite striking that only few patients seemed to be aware of this phenomenon, and even fewer patients seemed to dislike it.