What is Breast Augmentation?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Breast augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure to increase breast size and enhance breast shape, typically through the placement of silicone or saline breast implants.” Breast Augmentation, or augmentation mammaplasty, consistently remains among the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed each year. In fact, in 2020, breast augmentation again topped the list of all surgical procedures performed, and there were over 300,000 breast implant surgeries. For reference, the second most commonly performed procedure was liposuction. In general, this procedure is extremely well tolerated and the recovery is relatively quick.
Things to consider when getting ready for breast augmentation
There are several important things to consider when preparing for your breast implant surgery.
These include deciding:
- What type of implants you desire – saline or silicone?
- What size you want to ultimately be?
- What incision location will be used?
- Will your implants be placed over or under the muscle?
- Will I need to replace these implants in the future?
- Will I need other procedures like a breast lift with my implants?
- How much recovery time will I need?
These are all important questions and I have addressed these in previous blog posts. However, one topic that is often not addressed is how to select your breast implant surgeon.
Choosing your surgeon for your breast implant surgery
Finding the right surgeon for your breast implant surgery is critical. The right surgeon will be able to answer all of your pre-operative questions and also be able to successfully guide you through the entire process. But finding the right surgeon can be a tough task for some people, so here are some tips to find the right surgeon. Keep in mind that everyone is different and the “right” surgeon for one person may not be the “right” surgeon for another. The following tips are designed to help you understand the basic qualities you should look for, so you can make the decision that is right FOR YOU.
- Board Certification:
The most basic qualification is that your surgeon is a BOARD-CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON. This means that they have been granted Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The criteria for becoming an ABPS certified plastic surgeon is extensive and includes:
- Fully completing an accredited training program
- Passing extensive written and oral exams
- Completing ongoing educational courses
- Meeting ethics and standards established by ASPS
- Experience in Breast Augmentation
So, the surgeon you are interested in is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, but do they routinely perform the procedure you want? There are dozens of different plastic surgery procedures and it is impossible for every surgeon to be great at every procedure. You want to be sure that your surgeon routinely performs breast augmentation. This will mean that they can properly advise you about your different options for your surgery, such as implant type and implant placement. An experienced surgeon will also be able to accurately guide you through the recovery process. It is hard to say how many breast augmentations a surgeon needs to be considered “experienced”, but most plastic surgeons would agree that he or she should have successfully completed at least one hundred of a certain procedure.
- Check out their results
Now, we know they are board certified and experienced in breast augmentation, but do they give the results you are looking for? Everyone has a different style, and plastic surgeons are no different. Some perform small, modest augmentation surgery, while others place large, oversized implants. You should look at as many post-op surgical results as you can, and make sure you like what you see. You want to be sure that the “after” results are long-term, meaning the photos have been taken at least 1 year after surgery and the longer the better. You should be able to find examples of their results on their website and social media pages.
- Find out what other patients are saying
It’s important to hear what other patients are saying about your surgeon. It is no different than checking the references of a job applicant. This may mean personally speaking to other patients. Most offices will be able to provide contact information for other patients upon request. More commonly though, in 2021, is reading online reviews. There are several sites dedicated to providing patients’ experiences. One very popular site is Real Self. You will be able to read reviews about the doctor. Now, take everything with a grain of salt. Not every patient is comfortable writing an online review, so even the best surgeons may not have many reviews for you to read. Also, happy patients tend to be less inclined than unhappy patients to write an online review. This means that you should expect to see some negative reviews online for everyone. It is simply not possible to make every person happy, so if a surgeon has performed many thousands of operations, I do not think it is a red flag to see a handful of negative reviews. It is a red flag, however, to find a surgeon who has nothing but 5-star reviews without anyone saying anything negative. This may indicate that they may have found a way to “scrub” negative reviews or hide them from your view. So, online reviews are helpful, but should not be your only criteria.
- See if your personalities match
When you select a surgeon, you are entering a very personal and long-term relationship. This means that personality matters. Some surgeons are super laid back and chill, while others are more uptight and “professorial”. Do you want a surgeon who tells you what they think is best because of their vast experience, or do you want a surgeon who is more comfortable listening to what you want? You need to figure out which personality meshes best with yours. You may get a sense of their personality from speaking with other patients or from online reviews, but the best way to learn about it is to meet him or her. This is one of the purposes of the consultation. Yes, it’s to learn about the procedure, but it’s also to see if you are compatible. It’s almost like a first date. This is why it may require multiple consultations with multiple surgeons before your find the right one for you.
As you can see, there are many things that go into finding the right surgeon for your breast augmentation surgery. Hopefully the above tips help you in making your journey easier. If you would like to consider New York Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Matthew Schulman, for your breast augmentation, you can contact us through our website or by phone.