Preparing for Your First Breast Surgery Consultation

You’ve decided, after careful thought and some research, that you want to have breast augmentation surgery.  Whatever you reasons may be, the bottom line is that you are unhappy or no longer satisfied with your breasts’ appearance and you feel it’s time for a positive change.  It’s time to get ready for an augmentation consultation.  Below are two steps that will help you to have a successful enhancement consultation.

Step One - Finding a Plastic Surgeon

Find a board-certified plastic surgeon - This process may take you some time but patience will pay off in the end. Interview as many plastic surgeons as it takes until you find one that you like and feel comfortable with and who also meets your requirements for a good plastic surgeon. It is vital that you find a surgeon that is truly listening to what you have to say and what it is you want out of your enhancement procedure.

You need to be sure that your chosen surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or some other board that is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. These surgeons are generally much better qualified than others. Don’t be shy about discussing the surgeon’s training, education, hospital privileges and the number of breast enhancement procedures performed. Think twice before hiring a surgeon that is put off by these questions or is hesitant to share the information with you.  A good surgeon will be delighted to have a patient that is proactive about what she wants and is willing to work with him or her to achieve her desired results. You can also contact your state’s medical board to find out if there is any impending malpractice judgments and/or disciplinary actions against the surgeon.

Finally, ask to see breast augmentation before and after photos when you are interviewing a surgeon. Take a good long look and evaluate them with a critical eye. Are the “after” shots showing breasts that are symmetrical and uniform in shape?  Keep in mind that you are seeing what the doctor considers to be their best results so take your time while you evaluate them.  If any photo raises a question in your mind, ask about them.

Step Two - Examination of Your Breasts

Initial Examination Expectations - Your consultation visit will include an examination of your breasts.  At this time, some surgeons take “before” photos. The surgeon will need to analyze the size and shape of your breasts, noting the skin quality, placement of your nipples and areolas and making suggestions based on these features. If you have specific concerns or desires, now is the time to bring them up. Be completely frank with your doctor and don’t be afraid to tell him or her exactly what you are concerned about and what you’re hoping to change. A frank discussion with your surgeon is the only way that he or she is going to know what you want and maintain open communication sets the stage for a successful procedure you are happy with and your surgeon can be proud of.

The next thing your surgeon should do is take a full medical history from you. It is necessary to determine if you are a good candidate for breast augmentation and a medical history a huge part of that decision. Certain health problems or allergies may contraindicate major surgery or implants so make sure you are up front and thorough when you go through your medical history. The surgeon needs to know everything; previous medical conditions, anything current going on with your health, any medications that you are taking, drug allergies and previous surgeries must be included in this discussion. Don’t forget to mention any over the counter medications that you take regularly, as well as dietary supplements and herbal supplements.

One of the things your surgeon is going to ask about is whether or not you have a family history of breast cancer. While implants do not in any way increase your risk of developing cancer, they can interfere with a mammogram or breast x-rays. If you are at high risk for breast cancer, your surgeon may recommend submuscular implantation rather than subglandular. There is evidence that suggests that submuscular implantation is less likely to interfere with mammogram results.

Finally, mention whether or not you are at your ideal weight. If you are dieting or planning to lose weight, delay your plastic surgery until you are at a stable weight. Tell your doctor if you plan to have more children, as well.  Pregnancy can change breast shape so it is often a good idea to wait until after you are finished having children.

Ultimately, your consultation visit will take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. When you leave you should feel confident that you and your surgeon have a solid game plan for you to work from. You should never feel rushed to get through a consultation and you should feel that you had the freedom to ask whatever questions you have and keep asking questions until you felt comfortable that you had a thorough understand of what to expect. If, for any reason, you leave the visit feeling less than comfortable, keep looking.