Choosing the “right” plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation may seem easy at first. However, do not be fooled by a fancy waiting room or too-good-to-be-true pricing. There are many doctors ready to do your surgery, but it takes an experienced, well-trained plastic surgeon to safely provide the natural-looking, proportionate results you want to see.
To make the process easier, start by asking these five simple questions. Their answers and the ensuing conversation you’ll have with the physician will make picking the best plastic surgeon a piece of cake.
Are you board-certified?
By choosing a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), you put yourself in the safest hands possible. While any doctor can perform an aesthetic procedure, only a surgeon that is board-certified in plastic surgery has gone through the years of hands-on training necessary for optimal breast augmentation results. He or she will have demonstrated their skill by passing rigorous oral and written examinations. They must also continue to prove their knowledge and stay abreast of cutting-edge innovations with annual continuing education and examinations.
Where will my operation be performed?
Keeping your safety in mind, all cosmetic plastic surgeries should be performed at an accredited ambulatory surgery center, accredited surgical facility or hospital surgical suite. Your breast augmentation must be performed in a state-of-the-art facility that is ready should any complications arise.
Additionally, a board-certified anesthesiologist should be overseeing the surgery. Many plastic surgeons will have their anesthesiologist available to meet with prior to your breast augmentation, giving you a chance to ask questions or bring up concerns.
What size implants will be best for my body type?
Implant sizing is individualized and based on a scientific approach to determine proportion. During your consultation, your plastic surgeon will take multiple precise measurements of your natural chest anatomy. Afterward, he or she will provide their recommendation for the correct implant size based on a combination of these measurements, which type is safest for you and which implant will decrease the chance for post-op complication.
Your plastic surgeon will also likely have you try on implant sizers during the consultation, allowing you to see the shape/size that best fits your desired results. Be sure to look over as many before and after photographs of your prospective surgeon’s recent breast augmentation patients as possible. This will give you a good idea of how you will look with a particular size implant, as well as show the plastic surgeon’s unique style and skill.
What can I do to get the best surgical outcomes?
Your surgeon should provide a clear, easy-to-follow set of instructions for before and after your breast augmentation procedure. The best thing that you can do to ensure a good outcome will be to carefully follow these instructions. While each plastic surgeon may have their own unique protocol, most post-op breast augmentation instructions include: no ibuprofen or aspirin before or after surgery, no smoking for several weeks before and after the procedure, no heavy lifting greater than five to ten pounds or exercise for four to six weeks and no sleeping on your chest/stomach until your plastic surgeon gives you the go-ahead.
Additionally, you will need to wear the recommended supportive post-surgical garments for the time specified by your doctor, often two or more weeks. Commit to your plastic surgeon’s recovery instructions for beautiful breasts that will look great for years to come.
What will my breast augmentation scars look like?
While everyone heals a little differently, all women can expect a small scar to form along the incision lines. Doctors often use an inframammary incision, with a scar running along the bottom of the breast. However, a plastic surgeon may also use a periareolar incision (around the areola) or an axillary incision (at the underarm). No matter the location, a talented, board-certified plastic surgeon will make sure your scar is well-concealed within the natural breast anatomy.
Placing the implants using a funnel can help to ensure the breast augmentation scars are very short. A specific and individualized scar management regiment will be discussed during your consultation, ranging from silicone scar sheets to silicone scar gel or a combination of the two. Your plastic surgeon’s post-op instructions will be based on your unique needs and skin quality.
Do not be afraid to ask questions during your breast augmentation appointment, as this is an important time for you to learn more about the doctor and determine if they are the right person for your needs. If you are considering a breast augmentation in the future, get started by looking through the procedure information available from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), including their tool for finding a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.