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11 Questions to Ask your Plastic Surgeon during a Breast Augmentation Consultation
Breast Enhancement

11 Questions to Ask your Plastic Surgeon during a Breast Augmentation Consultation

Written by
Juli Albright
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.

11 Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon during a Breast Augmentation Consultation

Are you planning to have a breast augmentation or a boob job? Have you asked about the qualification of a surgeon or the type of method you can opt for? You haven't?

Well, you should. Before undergoing the procedure, you need to ask the following questions to your plastic surgeon.

1.   Do You Have Certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery?

The first and most vital question you need to ask your surgeon is, are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeon? You should only put your trust in a qualified, experienced, reputable, and board-certified plastic surgeon. This certification proves that a government body has reviewed their cases and certified they have the skills and expertise.

These surgeons have excellent training in innovative and modern aesthetic techniques. Additionally, the American Board of Plastic Surgery also ensures their certified doctors are using all the safety standards that are crucial for patients' health.

2.   Do You Have Special Training in Plastic Surgery?

Besides getting a degree from a highly reputable medical school, doctors then are chosen for medical residency programs. Typically there are two routes to becoming a plastic surgeon. One is they train for four years in a general surgery residency and then are chosen for a three year plastic surgery residency. More competitive still are six year integrated plastic surgery programs which are typically broken up into three years of general surgery training and three years of plastic surgery training. In addition plastic surgeons may have additional fellowships in hand, craniofacial, breast reconstruction, pediatrics, or cosmetic plastic surgery.

Besides that, surgeon’s training also requires covering the facial, neck, head surgery, skin surgery and grafting, plastic microsurgery techniques, and cosmetic surgery to the body, breast, neck, and head. The Plastic Surgery program also educates its members about healing, emergency care, fluid replacement, and the relation of science to cosmetic surgical techniques.

3.   How Many Years of Plastic Surgery Training?

As we have already mentioned, the complete plastic surgery program is for three years. Your plastic surgeon needs to complete full training. Suppose they left the training after 1 or 2 years. This means they might don’t exactly know how to perform breast augmentation surgery properly.

This is why ask your plastic surgeon how many years of plastic surgery you have taken. To be clearer, you can ask them to show you proof of it. Hence, if you find out they don't have three years of training, it's better to continue your search for a plastic surgeon.

4.   Do you have Hospital Privileges required to perform the Surgery? If yes, then which Institution?

If you get an appointment for a consultation with a surgeon, you need to ask them where they will perform your procedure. This is because your surgeon can perform the cosmetic procedure at both hospitals and personal clinics. It is pertinent to mention that some surgeons even prefer to perform these procedures in their own clinics.

If your surgeon suggested carrying out the breast surgery in the hospital, ask them if they have hospital privileges. For your better understanding, these privileges are the right of a physician to use the hospital's equipment and facilities. This way, your doctor has a high level of machines, equipment, and facilities to deal with complications.

5.   Is the Outpatient Surgical Facility accredited by a State or Nationally Recognized Accrediting Organization, or Is It Medicare-certified or State-licensed?

Once you find out that your plastic surgeon prefers to perform patient surgery, you need to understand what it is. The outpatients or office surgery is a procedure carried out in your plastic surgeon's office or an outpatient department. Generally, surgeons perform surgeries or procedures that don’t need observation or treatments for more than a day in these types of facilities.

However, that place should have accreditation of national or state-recognized accrediting organizations. The facility also requires Medicare certification or a state license. Having all these accreditation helps you determine that the facility performs the procedure by considering all the precaution and safety standards.

6.   Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Enlargement or Breast Enhancement?

You also need to determine whether you are the right candidate for undergoing breast enhancement or breast augmentation. The fact is, anyone who has good health both physically and mentally can prove to be a good candidate for breast implants.

However, your surgeon may refuse to take this decision if you fall in any of the following categories:

·      You are breastfeeding or pregnant.

·      You have an abnormal mammogram or breast cancer.

·      You are ill or suffering from an infection.

·      You have unachievable expectations from your surgery’s results.

Usually, most women are eligible for breast implants; you must try to be honest with your doctor. This is because you may suffer from complications during the procedure if you don’t communicate everything during the consultation. Moreover, if breast augmentation is not suitable for you, your plastic surgeon will recommend other procedures to achieve your aesthetic goals.

7.   What will I Have to Do to Receive the Best Results?

There is a list of things your surgeon will recommend you to do post-surgery. After the procedure, your surgeon will cover your breast with gauze dressings and elastic bandages. They may also ask you to wear support like an elastic band or bra, known as a bandeau, so that your breast remains firm in one position. This will also help you reduce the swelling over time.

Additionally, you also need to take some medicine after the surgery for several days, or even months. Mostly, health providers give you a prescription prior to the surgery. But if not, they will surely give it to you post-surgery. The medications usually include pain revealing and antibiotics pills. Depending on your health and consideration, some doctors recommend applying ointment and cleaning out the incision after the surgery. On the other hand, some surgeons also suggest not opening your bandage or tape. Lastly, they will also advise you to avoid any type of strenuous activity for few weeks.

8.   How Will You Perform my Breast Augmentation Surgery?

There are several methods of breast augmentation surgery. You and your health provider can discuss all the possible options to fund the most suitable one for you. The following are the options your doctor will suggest:

·      They can make an incision on the lower side of your breast, near the natural skin fold. Your surgeon will put the implant through it. You will have a more visible scar if you are thin, younger, and don’t have children.

·      Your doctor can make an incision under your arm and place an implant through it. They will perform this surgery by using an endoscope. You will not have any scar on your breast.

·      The plastic surgeon will make an incision near the edge of your areola. They will place the implant through this cut. It may lead to problems while breastfeeding and loss of sensation on the areola.

·      Your surgeon can place the saline impotent through an incision near the belly button by using an endoscope. This way, there will be no cut near your breast.

9.   What Are the Complications and Risk Associated with the Surgery?

Like any other cosmetic procedure, breast augmentation also has some risks and complications. It is better to discuss the possible complications and risks in your chosen method of surgery. This way, you and your doctor can easily deal with the situation at that time.

Some of the common adverse outcomes and complications include:

·      Implant complications, such as changes in breast and nipple sensation and breast pain

·      Capsular contraction, scar tissues develop around the implant

·      Deflation and rupture

·      Breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a kind of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

·      Systemic symptoms

·      Effects on children

·      Breastfeeding

·      Reproductive problems, breast cancer, and connective tissue disease

10. Can I still Breastfeed After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Generally, surgeons insert the implants under the chest muscles or behind the milk glands, which don’t impact your ability to feed. Additionally, a qualified plastic surgeon will try their best not to disturb the position of the glands. So, when your glands remain intact, it keeps working naturally.

However, it’s crucial that your surgeon have enough training to perform your procedure without hurting your natural abilities. The depth and location of the incision used for your procedure can significantly impact your capability to breastfeed. So, make sure that your surgeon keeps the areola intact during the procedure to limit the possibility of this problem. You can even communicate your concern so that they can keep it in mind while opting for your type of incision, method, and technique.

11. What Can I Do If I am Dissatisfied with My Results?

The best way to ensure that you will be happy with your outcomes is to have a detailed discussion about your desires with your surgeon. You need to have a clear vision of your results before undergoing surgery. This will help you build realistic expectations for your cosmetic procedure. That said, if even after estimating all the possibilities and picking the best options, you get poor results, you have several alternate options.

You can consult your doctor to have a breast revision. In that case, they can remove, replace, or reposition breast implants. But the best-case scenario is to opt for the method that you want. Moreover, if you simply remove your breast implants, you don't need to visit your older surgeon. Any plastic surgeon can do that.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, there are several things you need to determine and understand about your surgeon, the facility, surgery, and everything after the surgery. The more clear vision and expectations you will have about your surgery, the more satisfied you will be post-surgery. So, make sure to dig into every aspect of the breast augmentation process to make a better decision.

Written by
Juli Albright

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