Five Questions to Ask During Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
Whether you want to shape, enhance or add balance to your breasts, a breast augmentation is a transformative procedure that changes your appearance in a big way. Doing your due diligence before choosing a doctor and scheduling your surgery can save a lot of heartache and frustration down the road. There are certain things you need to know before moving forward with a breast augmentation or breast enhancement procedure.
Your initial consultation with your specialist plastic surgeon is an ideal time to ask the types of questions that will help you decide if breast enhancement is right for you. A consultation allows you to better understand your options and the process involved, as well as to get a feel for the doctor’s competency and experience. For these reasons, Dr Damon Thomas of the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery offers free consultations to make it easy for prospective patients to get the information they need and feel more comfortable with their decision.
Here are five questions to consider asking during your consultation:
Question #1: What Type Of Implant Do You Recommend For Me?
As one of the oldest cosmetic procedures to date, breast augmentation options have evolved over time to accommodate almost any look that patients may want. With a wide variety of options to choose from, it’s best to have an idea of your desired results ahead of time. Knowing exactly how you want your breasts to look in terms of size, shape and position provides your surgeon with the information and guidelines he needs to determine which breast implants will offer you the best result. Silicone implants use silicone gel as the filler material. Since they have a gel-based consistency, these types of implants tend to feel more like a natural breast. Silicone implants are designed with a silicone shell that surrounds the gel material, so if leaking does occur, the implant will not lose its shape.
Question #2: Does the Surgeon Specialise in Plastic Surgery Procedures?
Truth be told, any doctor who graduated from medical school can perform cosmetic procedures. This means any doctor can advertise him or herself as a cosmetic surgeon without having any specialised knowledge or experience in the field. Ultimately, your surgeon’s training and experience will have a considerable bearing on the end result in terms of looks and durability, not to mention his or her ability to deliver the result you’re expecting.
Asking whether a doctor has specialised training in plastic surgery procedures should be one of the first questions that comes up during the consultation. Ideally, you want to work with a specialist plastic surgeon who is trained and experienced in breast augmentation procedures. Board-certification and specialty training include the following qualifications:
- The surgeon has completed the surgical specialist pathway, which includes a minimum of 12 years of medical and surgical education, with a minimum of five years of specialist postgraduate training in reconstructive and plastic surgery
- The surgeon is accredited by the Commonwealth Governments of Australia and New Zealand, through both the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and New Zealand Medical Council (NZMC)
- Is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
Dr Damon Thomas meets all of the above qualifications and has worked at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery for well over a decade. Dr Damon offers free, private consultations out of our Malvern and Moonee Ponds office, so there’s no initial investment to worry about. By the time you leave a consultation meeting with Dr Thomas, you’ll know whether a breast augmentation procedure is right for you.
Question #3: What’s the Recovery Period Like?
The type of recovery experience you can expect depends on the extent of the surgery in terms of how the implant is placed. You can opt to have the implant placed underneath the breast gland or underneath the pectoral muscle. When placed underneath the pectoral muscle, the end result looks more natural but requires a more in-depth procedure.
While standard procedure requires that the breasts remain wrapped in gauze bandages or an elastic bandage or a specially prescribed support garment during recovery, doctors may vary on the specifics so be sure to ask your surgeon about their recovery requirements. There will be some downtime once the procedure is completed, as well as follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. The more information you gather during the consultation meeting, the better prepared you’ll be for the recovery period.
Question #4: Are There Any Aftercare Considerations?
While the implants used in breast augmentation do come with a warranty, it’s important to keep a close eye on the implant site as leaks and ruptures can still occur. Dr Thomas prefers to review his patients every 1 – 2 years to make sure your implants and breasts are remaining stable. Asking questions about how to protect your implants and avoid ruptures gives you an idea of the level of care needed to keep your breasts healthy.
Question #5: Are Breast Augmentation Results Permanent?
Keep in mind, breast implants are devices much like a heart valve or an artificial joint. This means that they will eventually need to be replaced no matter how well you take of them. Other conditions can also limit how long a breast augmentation procedure will last.
If you happen to gain or lose a lot of weight or go through pregnancy, you’ll likely require a revision or even a whole new procedure altogether. Age also has a bearing on how long breast implants will maintain the look you expect. Since the body changes with age, so will the fit of the implant. As a general rule, the younger you are, the more likely you’ll need to have your implants replaced as time moves on.
Overall, there are no definite expiration dates for implants, though the average falls around the 10 to 15-year range. Some last considerably longer than others so results will vary from person to person. Asking your doctor how he or she recommends going about maintaining the look you desire as you age is a good way to gauge the doctor’s experience level.
Call Us To Schedule a Consultation
Whether you’re wanting larger breasts, more contoured breasts or seeking reconstructive surgery, taking that first step and getting your questions answered makes it easier to make important decisions about your procedure. Dr Damon Thomas will walk you through all that’s involved from beginning to end, so you’ll know if breast augmentation is right for you. Call us today on 03 9034 7738 to schedule one-on-one consultation.