Do you live in the New York City area and are considering breast augmentation surgery? If so, you must have many questions.
Like all surgical procedures, you must take breast augmentation seriously.
First, it means that finding a doctor who people trust and you get along well with is of the utmost importance. You should also find someone who both you and the community trust.
It also means that you will get a ton of information thrown your way.
We've gone ahead and brushed all the redundancies and unimportant factoids aside to present: eight questions you should definitely ask your breast augmentation surgeon.
Read on to find out what they are!
1. Ask About the Practice's Background
When you have your first doctor/patient consultation, it is important to remember that this is an opportunity for you to ask questions, not just a time for your doctor to see if you are a viable candidate.
This means that now is a good time to do a little bit of doctor shopping. Once you've found someone you have a good feeling about and a good rapport with, ask them about their practice.
Ask for references as to their experience, which should be extensive. You should be able to view a lengthy gallery of before and after photos of their patients, and ideally read testimonials from their previous patients.
2. Ask What Procedures They Offer
Most cosmetic surgery practices offer a menu of different procedures, from head to toe. Most cosmetic surgeons also offer different methods of breast augmentation.
Talk with your doctor about the different options they have. If the price is a factor, make sure you mention that as well.
The most common type of augmentation uses implants.
There are several incision types. Ask your doctor which one is right for you.
The most common type is called inframammary incision and is a cut beneath the natural crease of the breast. Scarring from this is minimal and can be hidden by a bathing suit top.
Other types of incisions include around the areola and under the muscle folds of the armpits. Each has its own sets of benefits.
Another type of breast augmentation is an enlargement by way of fat transfer. The process of harvesting fat cells from different parts of the body (via liposuction) has vastly improved over the past few years.
These fat cells are then processed so only the most viable cells are used for the procedure. They are then injected into the breast area.
This has become increasingly popular because it is the least invasive of the surgery types, and has the ability to increase your breast size by one full cup.
You and your doctor will likely discuss what kind of results you expect.
This, paired with other factors like your health and the shape of your upper-body will help you and your surgeon reach a conclusion about which procedure to select.
3. Ask What You Can Expect During Surgery
Some people like to know every detail about any type of medical procedure they plan to have. Others prefer to know nothing, citing nerves or anxiety and would prefer to be told only what they need to know.
For those who want to know, ask what you can expect from the breast augmentation procedure.
Ask about the type of anesthesia that will be used during the surgery, especially if you've had reactions to anesthesia in the past.
Most likely the anesthesiologist will tell you that you have options. There are three levels of anesthesia most commonly used.
The first is called general. This is the most common type. General anesthesia is when they ask you to count back from ten and by the time you make it to seven you are essentially asleep. By the time you wake up, the surgery is complete.
For those of you who want something in the middle, there is a type of anesthesia often called "twilight" where your consciousness is altered but you are still technically awake.
And last is "local", which essentially means doctors will numb the surgical site of your breast augmentation, but not adjust your mental state.
There is much discussion about which method is best, but the most important thing is to speak with your doctor about which method is best for you.
4. Ask for Information on Implant Types
If you are planning on going with implants for your breast augmentation and not fat cell transfer, ask your doctor about what types of implants they offer.
There are two primary types of silicone-based breast implants.
The first is called a saline implant. This is a silicone-based shell that is inserted into the breast area and then filled with sterile saline fluid (essentially salt water) until the desired size is reached.
Like everything else, this method has its pros and cons. There is an increased risk of rupture with saline implants, but they also require a significantly smaller incision and often result in less scarring.
The second augmentation type uses a pure silicone implant. This implant consists of a silicone exterior and a cross-linked silicone gel interior.
Using pure silicone implants provides results that have a significantly more natural look and feel. They are also less likely to rupture or tear than saline.
However, the surgical procedure can be slightly more invasive and there is an increased chance of scarring at the incision site.
Shape and Placement Site
While deciding whether to use a saline or silicone implant, you must also make a decision about what size and shape you'd like your results to present.
Regarding shape, talk to your doctor about what they offer. Usually, you will be able to choose between round and tear-drop shaped implants.
Finally, talk to your doctor about the placement of your implant. The doctor will either place it above or beneath the pectoral muscles.
There is also a technique called Dual plane breast augmentation where the surgeon places the implant beneath both muscle and breast tissue. This is often used to create a lift and added fullness.
There are risks and benefits associated with all breast augmentation methods.
Ask your doctor to weigh your body type, your health, and your desired aesthetic results to determine which methods to choose.
Additionally, ask your doctor for before-and-after photos. Not only will this help you see their body of work, it will give you the ability to see the outcomes of the many different types of breast augmentation.
5. Ask About Risks and Safety Precautions
Like any surgery, breast augmentation is not without risks.
It is important to talk to your doctor about them so that you can prepare and take precautions to help prevent them.
It is worth noting that breast augmentation has become the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure, with hundreds of thousands performed each year. With this type of frequency, doctors have been able to minimize complications more and more.
Of course, complications can still occur. These include the risk of infection, a reduction in sensitivity around the breast area, and the formation of scar tissue. Very rarely, there can also be complications with anesthesia.
Be sure to ask your doctor about what you can do to help reduce the risk of these complications.
6. Ask About Recovery Time
Though all doctors have individualized sets of guidelines, recovery time usually lasts about a week.
After a week you can typically return to light work and physical activity.
Ask your doctor about how long it will take for you to recover, particularly based on the type of procedure you receive.
Talk to your doctor about anything you can do personally as you prepare for and recover from your procedure to help reduce risks. For instance, if you are a smoker you may be asked to quit, as this will help reduce the risk of infection and decrease recovery time.
Additionally, your doctor may ask about your schedule. Can you take time off from work? After your breast augmentation, you will need recovery time.
All risks increase if you go back to your daily routine two days after your surgery.
Your diet is also a huge factor in recovery time. The better your immune system, the shorter your recovery time. Diet directly impacts this.
7. Ask About Breast Reduction/Lift Surgery
Not all breast augmentations are to give you a bigger bust size. Cosmetic surgeons are also skilled at the process of breast reduction.
There are several reasons why one might want a breast reduction. Often, women can get severe back pain from large breasts that put constant tension on the spine.
Additionally, a breast reduction can create a more youthful appearance.
Finally, breast reductions are often the last step in a long journey that men and women take toward major weight loss. This procedure requires the careful removal of breast tissue until the desired size is reached.
In doing so, the result is often a younger appearance, as it reduces the amount of breast sag. This is why breast reduction surgery often goes hand-in-hand with a lift procedure.
This is still a surgical procedure, and swelling and discomfort can linger for up to two weeks. However, most scarring will have completely faded by six to twelve months.
8. Ask Anything You Need for Peace of Mind
Ultimately, it's important to ask any question that will make you feel more comfortable as you go into this procedure.
Ask your doctor how long they have been practicing medicine. Have they dedicated their career to cosmetic surgery? Or is this a new field for them?
Should complications arise, ask how this doctor typically handles them.
Try to see beyond the immediate results. Remember - breast implants are not expected to last for a lifetime. They will need to be reworked at some point.
Though they are extremely effective for decades, they will need to be reworked at some point in your life. Ask about this fact. Ask about what your body would look like should you decide
Ask about what your body would look like should you decide, let's say in 30 years, to remove the implants.
Peace of mind doesn't just mean asking questions about safety. It also means asking about results.
It is incredibly important to talk about expectations. What do you want your results to be?
Starting this dialogue will be the way that you and your doctor will sift through all the different options to choose the methods that will produce the outcome that you expect.
An open dialogue with your doctor is essential and will lead to a better working relationship.
If there are any unanticipated side-effects or if recovery time takes longer than expected, you will already have a rapport with your doctor during this time of need.
Ask these Questions and You'll Be Ready to Go
If there is one takeaway from this article, it is that there are many decisions that you and your doctor will need to make together.
These eight questions will give you a comprehensive guidebook to the breast augmentation process, and the peace of mind associated with that knowledge.
Once you're ready with the question, the next step is to find a breast augmentation surgeon you can trust. At Allure Plastic Surgery, we have the experience and expertise to help you achieve the breasts of your dreams.
Get in touch with us for a free consultation, where you can ask all your questions.