Illusio, a company with a breast simulation system that helps plastic surgeons and their breast surgery patients visualize outcomes, did more than promote its 3D augmented reality technology at the June 2017 International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company also gauged opinions about the technology by surveying random women who visited the Illusio booth. Some volunteered to try the system, first hand.

“We found that women overwhelmingly preferred surgeons who were using our augmented reality imaging system. In fact, of the 116 women who completed our survey, 67 of them had already had breast implant surgery and 64 of them said that they would have made different decisions if they had had Illusio. This really shocked us,” Illusio CEO Ethan Winner writes in an email.

The technology allows women to see what their bodies will likely look like after breast surgery in real time and from different angles. The fluid 3D virtual image is visible to the patient and doctor on a wall-mounted TV. All the while, surgeons can manipulate the image to replicate real-life breast characteristics and transform the breasts to capture the patient’s ideal shape and size.

Winner writes that it’s not clear what women would have done differently had they had access to the Illusio system, but the finding suggests there is a gap in communication between surgeons and their patients.

Other results from Illusio’s survey, include that 97% of women would be very likely or somewhat likely to prefer to see a cosmetic surgeon using Illusio, and 98% indicated Illusio would add to their understanding of the procedure and increase their confidence in making a decision. Nearly 88% indicated Illusio would be very effective in enhancing communications with a plastic surgeon during a breast augmentation consult.

The feature that was most cited in the survey’s results was the virtual mirror, in which women can see what they’re going to look like following breast augmentation surgery, according to Winner.

“Seeing a realistic image of themselves was far better than seeing before and after pictures of other women,” he writes. “In addition, women found Illusio to be very empowering as a tool to convey their wishes [and] visions to their surgeons.”