Whether your breasts are sagging from age, if you have a smaller bust size than you would like, or even if you’re interested in firming up your breasts so that your clothing is more flattering and your confidence can finally increase, you’ve thought about getting a breast augmentation for years.
Now, you’ve decided that you’re finally ready to do it. However, you want to make the right choice when it comes to both the surgeon you work with and the kinds of implants you select.
If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, then you need to ensure that you know the most important questions to ask your Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.
But what information do you need to know before you decide to enhance the look of your breasts?
Keep on reading this post to find out.
Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Augmentation Surgery?
Before you ask your plastic surgeon anything else, the first thing you should inquire about is whether or not you’re actually a good candidate for a breast augmentation.
If you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, you will need to put your surgery on hold.
Your surgeon will also ask you questions about your overall physical and mental health. They want to ensure that no one else is pressuring you into having the surgery, that you don’t have any active infections of health conditions that could cause complications, and that the medication you’re currently taking won’t increase the risk of something going wrong during surgery or recovery.
You should also let your surgeon know if you’re currently a smoker, or if you drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
If you want saline breast implants, the FDA recommends that you be at least 18 years of age. For silicone implants, the FDA recommends that one be at least 22 years old.
Ask About Experience and Education
Any plastic surgeon should will be more than happy to speak with you about their overall experience with performing this surgery, as well as their educational credentials.
First, make sure that they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (click here to verify your surgeon’s certification.) It may surprise you that many surgeons performing this surgery are not plastic surgeons.
You should also ask how many breast augmentations they’ve performed in the past, and if they’ve encountered cases similar to your own before. Some breasts are droopy, and others are tubular. Not all breast augmentations are totally straight forward. Experience can be the difference between a good outcome and great outcome.
For example, if you’re seeking surgery for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, make sure the surgeon has specific experience with reconstruction. If you’re interested in male breast reduction surgery, ask the surgeon about their experience with this procure as well.
Next, ask about their overall education credentials. Where did they go to school, and how many years of training have they had? If you’d like, you can ask to see copies of their degrees or even confirm education records with the institutions they attended.
A qualified plastic surgeon will also be happy to provide you with before and after photos of patients they’ve treated in the past. This way, you can get a better understanding of the results you are likely to receive.
Also, ask if they specialize in breast augmentations and if they’re a member of any sort of association or guild for plastic surgeons. Have they received any awards for their work, and have they spoken at any conferences? Are they a Castle Connolly Top Rate Doctor? Do they get invited to speak at national or international conferences?
This shows that the surgeon is committed to continuing their education and staying on top of new advancements and developments in the field. It also shows that the surgeon is well respected among his or her peers.
What Kinds of Implants Are Available to Me?
Experienced plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, CA will also be able to walk you through your options when it comes to the type and shape of your breast implants.
Together, you’ll talk about the kinds of results you’re looking for and the shape and size of your natural breasts. You’ll then make the best choice from there.
If you have a smaller natural bust, then you may be a better candidate for teardrop implants, as this creates more of a contour. If you’re concerned about potential rotation, then you may elect to have round implants.
Even how much money you’re willing to spend on your implants will impact the shape and type of the implants you choose.
You’ll also need to decide between silicone/gummy bear implants and saline implants.
Saline implants are made from a saltwater solution, and their size can be adjusted during the surgery. However, they don’t have as much of a natural look as silicone implants. Silicone implants look and feel more natural, but may make it more difficult to detect a rupture.
Now is also the time to ask your plastic surgeon where they usually make the incision. Most surgeons prefer to make the incision under the breast fold or around your areola because these incisions allow for the most precise placement.
Finally, you and your surgeon should discuss the ideal size of your implants. Remember that your perception of a cup size may differ greatly from the reality of that cup size. You want to be comfortable, look balanced and natural, and understand the size that most match your expectations.
What Are the Risks?
As with any type of medical or cosmetic surgery, there are potential risks associated with breast augmentation surgery.
It’s important that you and your surgeon have frank conversations about these risks, and what can be done to mitigate them.
Common risks include a reaction to anesthesia, misshapen implants, a bacterial infection, and a potential change or decreased sensation in the nipple. You may also be at risk for developing capsular contracture, which is the formation of scar tissue close to the implant.
Also, remember that if you experience a significant change in weight, or if you become pregnant, the shape of your implants may change. In most cases, you will need to have another surgery in the future to maintain your implants.
What Will My Recovery Be Like?
You also need to ensure that you understand what the recovery process looks like after you’ve had breast augmentation surgery.
Directly after your surgery, you’ll be kept under careful observation for about an hour to ensure that it’s safe for you to go home. Your breasts will be bandaged, and you’ll need to wear a special support bra to keep swelling to a minimum and offer the proper amount of support throughout the recovery process.
In some cases, you may also be prescribed medications to assist with pain management and to lower the risk of an antibacterial infection.
In general, you should expect your breasts to feel sore and swollen for about one to two weeks after your surgery. You should certainly refrain from any heavy lifting or exercise during this period.
You’ll also likely have a follow-up appointment with your plastic surgeon a few weeks after the procedure. Here, they’ll assess how everything looks, clean the incision area, and rebandage your chest.
By six weeks after your surgery, you should be able to return to your normal activity levels.
As always, it’s imperative that you follow all of your surgeon’s instructions during the recovery period. A failure to do so could increase the risk of complications and prevent you from getting the results you want.
What Is the Cost of My Surgery?
Of course, one of the most popular questions regarding any kind of breast augmentation is how much it will cost.
In general, you should expect to pay anywhere from $8,000-$10,000 for your breast implants or augmentation. Do not shop by price of work with “basement doctors” when it comes to any type of plastic surgery — there are serious and potentially life-threatening risks involved in doing so.
Instead, ask your plastic surgeon about the financing options that are available to you.
There are many lending options out there that don’t ask for any collateral, don’t charge prepayment penalties, and that can give you an immediate decision for loans under $35,000.
You can also apply for programs like CareCredit, which offers low minimum payments, no interest financing for procedures paid for in three months, and no annual fees.
There are many ways to afford the surgery (and surgeon) you want.
Ready to Schedule a Consultation for Breast Augmentation Surgery?
We hope that this post has helped you to understand more about the most important questions you should ask your plastic surgeon when you’re considering breast augmentation surgery.
However, the best way to determine if a surgeon is truly a good fit for you is to schedule a consultation. During the consultation, you can evaluate the surgeon’s bedside manner, ask to speak with references and learn more about how you will work together to get the results you want.
Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to your cosmetic surgeon.
Reach out to us to book your appointment today, and start your journey towards loving the way you look.
Dr. Tim Neavin is a board-certified plastic surgeon located in Beverly Hills, California.