With so much information about plastic surgery at our fingertips, women considering breast augmentation typically arrive at their consultations having researched the procedure quite thoroughly. Still, it’s one thing to comb through websites for breast implant information and another thing to ask plastic surgeons questions about the surgery.
Ideally, the consultation is an information-gathering meeting for both the patient and the plastic surgeon. Having a list of prepared questions helps patients feel confident and enables them to have an open and honest conversation with the surgeon. Even though patients have concerns unique to their situations, there are some issues that all patients should discuss during their breast augmentation consultations.
Questions To Ask Before Breast Augmentation
Here are 7 questions I recommend you ask when meeting with a plastic surgeon to discuss breast augmentation:
1. Are you board certified?
Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is considered the gold standard for plastic surgeons. Surgeons certified by the ABPS complete years of training focused specifically on plastic surgery and meet rigorous standards to earn certification. Other cosmetic surgery boards exist but don’t require the same level of training and experience as the ABPS. You can also ask about other advanced experiences, such as fellowship training.
2. How often do you perform breast augmentation?
It’s important to know how often a surgeon performs the procedure you’re interested in having. Plastic surgery is a dynamic field, and techniques continue to evolve. A surgeon who performs breast augmentation once a month probably won’t have the same skill as someone who performs the surgery several times a week.
3. What breast implant size would you recommend?
Even though a patient ultimately chooses the size and type of implants, an experienced plastic surgeon often knows which size will best meet the patient’s goals. I encourage my patients to have an open mind regarding implant size so that the results are in proportion with the rest of their bodies. Breast augmentation patients at my practice also have the opportunity to preview possible results with different-sized implants using the VECTRA® 3-D imaging system. You can see how the results look on some of our previous patients in the photos below and in our gallery of before-and-after photos.
4. What will the recovery be like?
It’s important to know what to expect during the recovery so you can prepare before the surgery. Ask about when you can return to work, when you can drive, and how long before you can resume exercising. You should also ask how you can contact the surgeon if you have questions or concerns during the recovery. Even though each patient recovers at their own pace, having some guidelines regarding the healing process is helpful.
5. How long do breast implants last?
Breast implants are not designed to last forever, and most patients will either have to replace or remove your implants at some point. But that is only necessary if you experience some complications or are no longer happy with how your breasts look. The idea that breast implants need to be replaced every 10 years—which is something often repeated on websites—isn’t accurate.
6. Where do you make incisions?
This answer can reveal if a plastic surgeon takes a cookie-cutter approach to breast augmentation. The choice of incision location, in addition to whether the implants are placed above or below the chest muscle, should reflect the patient’s unique cosmetic goals and lifestyle. I customize each procedure and discuss the benefits of the different options with patients, so they can make their choices with confidence.
7. How often do complications occur after breast augmentation?
Even though breast augmentation is a very safe procedure, complications do occur occasionally. Plastic surgeons should be honest about complication rates at their practices and how they handle them. With refined techniques, the rate of the most common complications, such as capsular contracture, is growing smaller.
As I mentioned earlier, you may have several other questions about the procedure or your choice of implants. Jot them down and bring them with you to your consultation so you can remember to ask them.
Women considering breast augmentation travel from Boise and throughout Idaho and Wyoming to our Idaho Falls location to have their surgeries. You can request a consultation at one of those locations using the online form or call us at (208) 881-5351.