Thursday, November 19, 2009

Essential Questions Regarding Breast Augmentation

Questions to ask your Breast Augmentation Surgeon

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

All Materials 2009 ASPS/PSEF

  • It is important to be an active participant in the process, so we've developed the following
  • list of questions to ask about breast augmentation during your consultation:
  • Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Were you trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery?
  • How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
  • Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally-or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
  • Am I a good candidate for breast enhancement or breast enlargement?
  • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
  • Where and how will you perform my breast augmentation surgery?
  • What shape, size, surface texturing, incision site and placement site are recommended for me?
  • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
  • How many additional implant-related operations can I expect over my lifetime?
  • How will my ability to breastfeed be affected?
  • How can I expect my implanted breasts to look over time?
  • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my implanted breasts?
  • How will my breasts look if I choose to have the implants removed in the future without replacement?
  • Do you have breast augmentation before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
  • If so, at which hospitals?
  • How are complications handled?
  • After pregnancy? After breastfeeding?

Regarding the American Society of Plastic Surgeons list of suggested questions, the first 7 questions are kind unnerving. The idea that when looking into breast augmentation you need to ask those kind of questions regarding the ability of the surgeon really makes one wonder about the safety and efficacy of this kind of surgery. It also leads to the question about how prevalent the black market or unlicensed undertaking of this procedure is. As well as how easy it is to find yourself in that situation without even knowing about it. A lot of the other questions on the list would be very helpful if considering breast augmentation. The particularly necessary and I think under recognized ones are those regarding post surgery necessities and issues regarding unwanted results. That would be very helpful in the decision process.

Ask Dr. Beck

Feminization Surgery

© 2008 Bay Area Aesthetic Surgery. All Rights Reserved

Q:I have heard that people’s implants get hard over time. Is that true?
A:You are referring to a condition called “capsular contracture.” This is a contraction of the natural internal scar tissue that surrounds the implant. It is a small risk, but one that must be considered. Should capsular contracture occur and bring discomfort or distortion to the breast(s), a surgical procedure can be performed to correct the situation. In rare cases, the implants must be replaced or removed altogether. Saline implants have a lower incidence of capsular contracture. Following pre and post operative instructions can also help reduce your risk.

Q:What is the link between autoimmune diseases, cancer and breast implants?
A:Despite all the publicity, the “FDA Breast Implant Consumer Handbook 2004” dispels any possible links between illness and silicone or saline implants.

Q:Will a breast implant lift my breasts up?
A:An implant will expand the size and alter the shape of a breast. The shape of some implants can mediate mild breast sag, but will not change the position of the nipple or counteract significant droop.

Q:Can I choose if I want my implant above or below the muscle?
A:Not always. It depends on your anatomy and options should be discussed with Dr. Beck or Dr. Brink.

Q:Are there any guarantees that my implant won’t break or leak?
A:There are no guarantees, but there are warranties available. Implants are engineered to withstand considerable pressure or impact; however they are not lifetime devices. Following your procedure we will give you a serial number and warranty card from the implant manufacturer. You can elect to purchase an extended warranty.

The Q and A from "Dr Beck" would be very helpful. Upon researching this topic, finding the answers to frequently ask questions was relatively scarce. This is likely due to the highly individual nature and motivations for the surgery. I found it very interesting to see a doctor’s answers to frequent patient concerns. I would have also liked to have seen some answers from an objective researcher as I got the impression that this information was being given by a plastic surgeon with somewhat of a biased perspective.


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  2. Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours regarding breast implants. I agree following pre and post operative instructions can really help reduce risk.

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