“How do I prepare for my breast augmentation consultation?” is one of the questions that I get asked most often by new breast surgery patients. If you follow this blog or have checked out my website, then you know that I am a huge advocate of the in-person consultation. It allows me to really listen to what concerns you about your body as well as assess your anatomy. The latter is crucial, particularly when it comes to something as individual as a breast augmentation. The internet places a library of information at your fingertips, but it doesn’t discriminate. This means that while your favorite social media influencer or best friend looks fabulous with 350cc high profile breast implants, that size or shape may not be right for your unique anatomy. So, you’ve already done the smart thing and scheduled a consultation. Here is how to prepare.
Focus on Look, Not Cup Size
Almost every potential breast augmentation patient I meet will tell me that she wants to be a “C” cup or a “D” cup. I then explain how cup size is not actually an accurate measurement of breast volume. For starters, cup sizes vary by bra manufacturer. Secondly, every woman can fit into a variety of different bra sizes. The difference comes down to how each one feels on your body.
This is why it’s important to keep your focus on the look that you want to achieve and the breasts that will make you feel comfortable. Before you come in to see me for your consultation, go online and grab photos of breasts that you like. Furthermore, I want you to think about why you like them. Is it their:
- upper pole fullness
- fact that they balance out the hips and/or camouflage a stomach
This will give me a deeper look into what it is you hope to achieve. Sometimes, what a patient says she wants and what she shows me that she wants are different. I also like when patients bring in photos of breasts that they DO NOT like as this can be equally helpful. Photos are a great tool for clarifying our communication so that we can both be certain that we are on the same page.
Silicone vs. Saline
Smooth, round, silicone gel breast implants are my preferred implant. I think they deliver the most natural shape and feel to your breasts. However, you need to decide if you are comfortable with that choice and/or have any questions that you need me to answer in terms of their safety. Silicone gel breast implants are one of the most studied medical devices in the world. Their safety has been conclusively proven. But there is a small subset of patients who have challenges with breast implants. It is my duty to help determine if you will have issues. I will always be honest with you about any potential risks. As a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in breast surgery, I make it my job to stay up to date on the latest clinical trials and research. I want to safely deliver the most beautiful breasts possible. For me, this usually means a silicone gel breast implant.
Don’t Fear the Scar
Another thing to consider before you come in for your consultation is implant placement and scars. I typically place implants through an incision in the inframammary fold. This is the crease beneath your breasts. It gives me the most access and the scar is hidden by the fold of your breast. However, some patients are reticent about this approach because they’ve read about other ways to place the implant that may leave a smaller scar such as the areolar approach. This is where the internet can be dangerous. The majority of breast augmentation patients are not good candidates for an areolar placement. Furthermore, peri-areolar scars tend to have more complications and side-effects. In general, I advise my patients to not fear the scar. Incisions on the breast heal extremely well. I pride myself on my precise surgical technique and will be happy to show you photos of former breast implant patients. My guess is that you won’t even notice any scar.
Look at Your Schedule & Plan Accordingly
Lastly, you are going to need anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks of downtime after your breast augmentation procedure. By this, I don’t mean that you will be in bed or on the couch in pain. In fact, most patients describe their breast augmentation recovery as uncomfortable and not painful. However, you will have restrictions in terms of your movements. Initially, I don’t want you lifting anything heavy or reaching across the counter to grab something. This means no housework or exercise more strenuous than a light walk for 10-12 days. So, plan to either cook ahead of time and freeze meals, order in or have your partner cook for you. If you have young children, you are going to need to call your mother, mother-in-law or a friend for some child-care help. You won’t be driving for the first week either. Think of those first two weeks as a mini-vacation from your regular duties. Your only job is to heal. After 2 weeks, you can return to most normal activities except for chest exercises. I want you to avoid those for about 6 weeks.
So, there is your checklist for how to prepare for your breast augmentation consultation. Taking a little time before your consult to think about these things will make the whole experience even better.
To find out more about a breast augmentation with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation.