A Guide to Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
It is very important that you prepare for your breast augmentation consultation. Your initial consultation with your plastic surgeon is your chance to meet the person who may operate on you and get an idea of whether that person can help you achieve your breast augmentation goals.
The consultation can last from 15 minutes to more than two hours. You should not feel rushed during your consultation. Make sure your prospective breast surgeon answers all of your questions, and trust your instincts. If you have a bad feeling about someone, there very well may be a reason. It is important that you have a good rapport with your surgeon and feel that he or she listens.
Consultation fees vary. Some surgeons may offer a free consultation or apply the cost of the consultation to the breast augmentation overall price. Make sure you know and understand the consultation cost and policy before booking your surgery.
Take the following steps to prepare for your initial consultation:
Compile a list of surgeons. Gather as many names of board-certified plastic surgeons as you can before scheduling your consultation. Ask around. Word-of-mouth is a valuable way to get names of good (and not-so-good) plastic surgeons. Finding a plastic surgeon in your area is ideal, but it is not always possible. Ask neighbors as well as friends and family members who live further away.
Learn about the procedure. It is important to learn as much as you can about breast augmentation surgery prior to your consultation. There is a vast amount of information available on the Internet, as well as in magazines and books. Learn about implant insertion/placement techniques and breast implant types. This information will help you get the most out of your consultation appointment. If you know about and understand all of the variables and options, you can make a more informed decision on your breast augmentation surgery.
Learn about the surgeon. It is also essential to look into prospective surgeons. Once you have compiled a list of possible plastic surgeons, do some research to see if they have faced or are facing any disciplinary actions. This can be done by running their names through Internet search engines like Google and Yahoo, and/or by contacting your state medical board.
Memberships in professional associations — the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Medical Association, as well as state medical associations — are an indication of reputability. Such membership generally holds its doctors to certain standards.
For example, a surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) must have more than six years of surgical training and experience, with at least three years specifically devoted to plastic surgery. Limit your search to doctors with board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS); or, for plastic surgeons abroad, the equivalent peer review organization. Board certification ensures that your surgeon has had extensive training and is up-to-date on new technology and techniques.
What to Bring to Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
- A list of questions
- A list of the medications you take, including herbal products and vitamins and minerals
- Photos to give a visual example of what you want out of your surgery; bring pictures of how you don't want to look, too
- A spouse, family member or friend for support
- A written medical history. (This should include any diseases or conditions you have ever had, any allergies, and your history of hospitalization.)
General Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon
- How long have you been practicing?
- Where did you go to medical school?
- Where did you do your fellowship training?
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Are you certified by any other medical specialty board?
- Have you ever been disciplined by the state medical board?
- Have you been involved in any medical malpractice suits?
- How long have you been performing breast augmentation?
- How many breast augmentation surgeries do you perform per month?
- Do you have hospital privileges? If so, which hospitals?
- Is the surgery center accredited? If so, by what organization?
- Is there good access at the surgery center for an ambulance?
- Can your facility handle a life-threatening emergency?
Breast Implant Questions
- What are the differences between silicone-gel- and saline-filled breast implants?
- Which do you prefer, smooth implants or textured implants? Why?
- Do you overfill saline implants to decrease the chance of rippling? What breast size would you recommend for my body frame?
- How should I experiment with different implant sizes?
- Will I be able to breast-feed after my breast augmentation surgery?
Breast Augmentation Surgery Questions
- Do you think I will also need a breast lift (mastopexy)?
- Will you have to lower my natural crease?
- Which breast implant incision placement do you suggest? Why?
- Do you perform transumbilical breast augmentation (TUBA)?
- What type of breast implant placement do you suggest for me? Why?
- What type of anesthesia do you recommend? Who will administer the anesthesia?
Breast Augmentation Risks and Complications
- What are the possible risks and complications for breast augmentation with implants?
- How will I know if my breast implants rupture? What is capsular contracture?
- What hospital will I be taken to if a problem develops during surgery?
- Will the breast implants obscure mammogram images?
Breast Augmentation Surgery Preparation
- (If applicable) How long in advance of the surgery should I quit smoking? What smoking cessation tools do you recommend?
- Will I need to purchase any special postoperative supplies such as bandaging, antiseptic soaps, ice packs, antibiotic creams, or surgical bras?
- Do you recommend any special vitamins or supplements before the surgery?
- Do you recommend any supplements to decrease swelling and bruising that can occur after surgery? If so, which ones and when do I start taking them?
- What pain medications do you normally prescribe?
Breast Augmentation Recovery Questions
- What kind of monitoring will there be in the recovery room?
- Who will be staffing the recovery room?
- Will there be a lot of swelling and bruising?
- Will there be much pain?
- What suggestions do you have for me to ease discomfort and pain?
- How can I get in touch with you in the event of an emergency?
- When will my sutures (stitches) be removed?
- How long should it take for my implants to settle?
- Will I lose any sensation in my nipples or breasts?
- How can I reduce my risk of capsular contracture?
- Will I have visible scarring?
- What do you recommend for reducing scars?
- How long do you recommend that I take off from work, school, etc. to heal properly?
- How long until I will be able to walk, exercise, run or participate in my usual activities or sports?
- Do I need to keep to a special diet postoperatively?
- Do you recommend I take any special vitamins or supplements after surgery?
Questions on Breast Augmentation Cost
- What is included in the price for a breast augmentation?
- Do your require a deposit?
- Do you offer breast augmentation surgery financing?
- Do you take credit cards?
- If I back out, will my money be refunded?