Your Breast Augmentation Consultation: What to Expect

You have done your research, and narrowed down your search for a breast augmentation surgeon to a handful of candidates. Now it's time to meet them. Your initial consultation is your chance to have all your questions answered, and to determine who you want to perform your surgery.

When choosing a surgeon, do your research, but also trust your gut. Sometimes you get a bad feeling (or a good one) about a doctor, and this can be telling. Trust it.

What to Bring

Start on the right foot by arriving at your consultation on time (but just in case the surgeon is running late, bring a book or some magazines with you).

That's not all you should bring. You should also have a list of questions for your surgeon, some photos of how you would like your breasts to look after surgery and/or a few bras or bathing suit tops you'd like to wear after your breast augmentation. Make sure to ask the receptionist what else you need to bring when you schedule your consultation.

Meeting with the Surgeon

At your consultation, you should meet with the surgeon. Do not accept anything less. This is your chance to interview the doctor. Find out as much as possible about him or her. You should not feel rushed during this visit, and you should leave with all of your questions answered. You also should have a good rapport with the doctor doing your surgery.

The consultation is your chance to:

  • Address all of your questions, concerns, fears and expectations.
  • Discuss your medical history.
  • Discuss anesthesia, types of implants, incision and implant placement.
  • Determine your implant size by using implants inside the bras or tops you have brought with you.
  • Discuss how you want your cleavage to look and other cosmetic aspects.
  • Discuss the risks of breast augmentation surgery. You may be given an informed consent sheet about breast implant safety and the risks of anesthesia. Ask to see breast augmentation before-and-after photos.
  • Ask to speak with former patients.
  • Ask to tour the facilities if your surgery will be performed on site.
  • Ask about the surgeon's education, training and board certification.
  • Discuss costs.

Physical Examination and Medical History

Your surgeon should give you a full check-up. This will include a breast exam.

Your surgeon will assess the size and shape of your breasts, as well as your skin's thickness and elasticity. He or she will also evaluate the position of your nipples, as well as the inframammary crease under each breast. Your surgeon will measure the distance between your breasts as well, and he or she may pinch or tug on your skin gently to see if it is loose or lax. These variables will help determine if you are, in fact, a candidate for breast augmentation, and will help the surgeon make recommendations regarding the proper implant type, placement and size for your body.

You will also be asked why you want breast augmentation surgery. The surgeon will want to make sure that you have reasonable expectations.

Your doctor, or a member of the staff, should take your medical history at the consultation. If you have any underlying conditions such as asthma or diabetes, your surgeon may ask you to get clearance from your primary care physician before surgery. You will also be asked what medications you take and whether you have any allergies. Under no circumstances should you keep any information from your surgeon.

You may have the opportunity to try on some sample breast implants during your consultation. This is usually done by placing implants inside your bra and putting your blouse back on to see how they look. Deciding on the correct size for your implants is important because the No.1 reason women opt for revision breast augmentation surgery is because they wish they went bigger the first time.

Your surgeon may make suggestions to you about what size is appropriate for your height and body type.

Breast Augmentation Surgery Cost

The total cost of the procedure should be discussed during the consultation. Make sure you get an estimate in writing and understand what is included in the total cost. The total cost tends to comprise the surgeon's fee, anesthesia fee, operating room fee and implant fee. Other fees may include preoperative tests and post-surgery medications and supplies. If the cost is prohibitive, ask about financing options. For more specific cost information, visit our article on breast augmentation cost.

Tip:
Make sure the office is up to your standards. The staff should be friendly and accommodating. There doesn't have to be an original Picasso or Monet on the wall, but the facilities should be clean and well kept. Many plastic surgeons operate in private surgical facilities, so their office should reflect how clean the operating room is.

Book the Surgery?

At the end of the consultation, you can book your surgery if you are ready. Do not feel pressured if you are unsure.

If you do schedule a surgery, you may need to leave a deposit to hold the date. You will also need to make preoperative appointments. Visit our comprehensive article on your preoperative visit to find out what to expect during this appointment.

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    Ronald H. Schuster, MD

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