Cosmetic breast surgery can be an extremely rewarding and important step in a woman’s life, but as with any surgical procedure, it requires a significant amount of preparation. One of the best ways to get ready for a procedure such as breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction is through asking yourself a series of questions.
Writing down your answers will create a resource you can refer to during the treatment process that will be especially helpful in consultations with plastic surgeons. Here are 5 questions and corresponding information all women considering cosmetic breast surgery should know:
Why am I having surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is an effective way to increase confidence, and women choose breast enhancement procedures for a wide range of reasons. One of the simplest questions to ask yourself prior to elective surgery is why you’ve chosen to take this route. Candidacy depends on a number of factors, but the reasoning behind surgery shouldn’t include an unrealistic cosmetic goal or fulfilling another person’s needs.
If you’re finding it difficult to explain why you’re having surgery, think of the first time you can remember feeling unsatisfied with an aspect of your appearance. Cosmetic plastic surgery patients often contemplate surgery for an extended period of time and first try alternate solutions.
What is it about the appearance of my breasts that justifies surgery?
Often, patients interested in cosmetic breast surgery want to adjust volume or enhance the shape of their breasts. Breast augmentation, which was the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in 2012 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons®, increases breast volume with silicone or saline breast implants.
Sometimes, factors such as pregnancy or weight fluctuation can contribute to a flattened or stretched breast appearance. Breast lift surgery reshapes breasts for a more youthful look, and this procedure can be combined with breast augmentation to simultaneously restore volume. Patients who want to decrease the size of their breasts because of cosmetic or functional concerns can get breast reduction surgery. This procedure has one of the highest patient satisfaction ratings for cosmetic surgical procedures, and women can work with surgeons to create natural-looking results.
What are my options for customizing my surgery?
Exploring the available options for customizing surgery is a great way to start the research process. There are countless options for tailoring cosmetic breast surgery including implant material, incision method, degree of augmentation or reduction, and implant placement.
The exact options will depend on the procedure you choose and what your surgeon offers. You should be able to develop a treatment plan that addresses all of your cosmetic needs, and there should be a fairly specific picture of expected results.
What am I looking for in a surgeon?
Patients interested in cosmetic breast surgery frequently choose surgeons based on factors such as where the surgeon practices and what his or her credentials are, which are certainly valid concerns, but there are other important attributes when it comes to the right surgeon. When searching online, look for surgeons who have up-to-date websites with clear, detailed information on their practices and procedures offered.
Some surgeons also include general information regarding the treatment process as a whole, which can cut down on the overall time required for researching. Dr. Arun Rao, a plastic surgery specialist in Tucson, Arizona, dedicated a section of his website to providing patient resources. He includes information on financing, new patient forms, and procedure-specific frequently asked questions. Dr. Rao represents a trend for plastic surgeons committed to providing the latest technology, both in and out of the operating room.
How much time should I set aside for recovery?
Recovery will depend on the type of procedure and the extent of surgery. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery provides detailed procedure information, including expected recovery time, for a range of cosmetic procedures on its website.
Although the exact recovery period following your procedure will depend on a number of factors, you can expect to spend several days resting. This is a crucial component of the treatment process, and it’s important patients follow all post-surgical care instructions.