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3 Most Important Questions to Ask a Breast Surgeon?

almost personally made the final decision for breast implants. Just begining search for the right plastic surgeon. I am worried i'll freeze up during consultations and forget to ask really important questions.

Can any doctor give me a cheat sheet of 3 must-ask questions for the surgeons? Very very appreciated! -JJ

Doctor Answers (25)

Communication is key!

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I think its great that you're coming up with a list of questions to ask your potential surgeon during the consultation. Never be afraid to ask LOTS of questions. I am always very impressed when my patients come prepared. Here are 3 important questions to help you while searching for the "right" plastic surgeon for you:

1) Is your doctor certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? Many doctors are "board certified", but make sure you choose a doctor who is board certified in Plastic Surgery.

2) How long has your doctor been in practice? From this, how many breast augmentation procedures has he performed throughout his career? How often does he perform breast augmentation?

3) Ask him to tell you about his surgical facility and whether it is accredited by a national organization, such as JCAHO (Joint Commission of Accredited Hospital Organizations).

Good luck, and thank you for your question!

Sincerely,

Dr. Stephen Goldstein


Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Important questions to ask about breast augmentation and breast implants

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Dear JJ,

First, it is very important to do your homework before you even see a plastic surgeon.

You should have already read and have an idea of your preference regarding:

  • Silicone Gel VS Saline Implants
  • Where you want your incision-under breast, through areola or axilla
  • Implant under muscle or under breast gland.

Good impartial sources for information are the ASPS and ASAPS websites below:

http://www.surgery.org/

and

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/

Second, I suggest you consult 2 plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You can check your doctor by visiting:

https://www.abms.org/WC/login.aspx

Questions you should ask the plastic surgeon are, in my opinion:

  1. How often do you do breast augmentation?
  2. Are you comfortable operating on me and will I get a good result?
  3. Can I speak to former patients who have had this operation and can I see before and after pictures of cases that you have actually done?

Remember, you are a consumer and the plastic surgeon wants you as a patient. do not freeze, surgery is a big decision and you cannot afford to let bashfulness or intimidation prevent you from getting the best treatment. Be pleasant, but self confident.

If the doctor acts defensive when you ask these questions, find someone else. You need a warm caring physician who is interested in your welfare. Ask yourself, would I be comfortable calling this doctor and the staff if I had a problem at night or on the weekend?

Ask to read over the consent form and post operative instructions before you book.

Do not book surgery on your first visit-go home and think it over. Don't be pushed by discounting or financial incentives.

Breast augmentation is a wonderful operation that brings self confidence and enjoyment to millions of women. You must however choose the right plastic surgeon for your particular needs.

You can read more about breast augmentation at the link below:

http://drseckel.com/surgical-procedures/result-oriented-breast-augmentation-breast-enlargement/

breast augmentation before and after pictures of breast augmentation

Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS
Boston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Great guidelines at www.plasticsurgery.org

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For this and other useful information I would suggest looking at the American Society for Plastic Surgery website: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Patients_and_Consumers/Procedures/Cosmetic_Procedures/Breast_Augmentation.html

Questions to ask my plastic surgeon
Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation:

* Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
* Are you a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons?
* 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?
o If so, at which hospitals?
* 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 this procedure?
* What will be expected of me to get the best results?
* Where and how will you perform my procedure?
* 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?
o How are complications handled?
* 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?
o After pregnancy? After breastfeeding?
* 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 before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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3 Questions to Ask Every Plastic Surgeon

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1) Credentials. Are you a board certified plastic surgeon? Do you have hospital privileges? (Even if the doctor isn't performing the surgery at a hospital, it is always recommend to choose a surgeon with hospital privileges)

2) Results. Can I see before after photos of previous patients? Can I contact any past patients? (make sure you like the results you see in the before after photos)

3) Experience. How many years have you been performing breast augmentation surgery? Have you ever had any complications or patient complaints? (as a follow up, check with the medical board)

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

3 Golden Questions for Breast Augmentation

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Her are my thoughts:

1) Credentials : Are you board certified? What Board? Answer MUST be the American Board of Plastic Surgery (check the abms.org  website) and if double boarded, the American Board of Surgery. All others are inappropriate.

2) Location for Surgery : Where do you perform the procedure? In a certified hospital or in a certified (JACHO, AAAASF) ambulatory surgery center? Who performs the anesthesia? Answer must be a boarded Anesthesiologist in my opinion...otherwise surgeon performing procedureing "overseeing" anesthesia and tough to focus on procedure as well.

3) How (are you going to do it...over/under muscle?) Where (will the incision be) Can I see YOUR results? Can I speak with any of your former patients? What is your complication profile (have your surgeon discuss their own complication history and not the national averages!).

I hope this helps!

Good Luck....

Dr. C

John Philip Connors III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Top 3 Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

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When looking for a breast augmentation surgeon it is important to do your research, visit multiple surgeons and ask lots of questions. There are 4 main categories I would consider. Here are some of the basic questions I would ask:

1) Credentials -

Ask your surgeon if he/she is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

Ask about his/her experience and specialty training in this procedure.

Ask to see his/her before and after photos.

Ask about his/her facilities - Are they fully accredited? Does he work with board certified anesthesiologists? Is his medical staff specialty trained in plastic surgery procedures?

2) What to Do Before Surgery - 

What do you need to do/stop doing before surgery to ensure a safe procedure and optimal results?

What are ALL of the fees involved - including OR fees, doctor fees, lab work, garments, scar cream, etc. This way there are no suprises the day of surgery or any time after.

3) About Your Procedure -

Discuss the look your are aiming to achieve, bring in photos and try on implants to show your surgeon what you have in mind. Do not get hung up on the cc's or the profile of the implant because the structure of your body impacts the way your results will look, so it is best that your surgeon knows exactly what you are trying to achieve.

Ask whether he is going over/under/or partially under the muscle. Ask whether silicone or saline are best for you. Ask which incision site he/she recommends for you. Also ask about his/her specialty techniques.Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of each of these. 

4) After Surgery Recovery -

Ask about realistic expectations for when you can return to your normal activities.

Ask about garments, scar treatments, breast implant massage and other ways to help ensure the best possible results. 

Ask about tips for recovery - including when to know if something is wrong. Be sure to ask what to do if you experience a complication and how it will be handled.

Tarick K. Smaili, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Questions to ask before Breast implants or augmentation

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Getting great results with plastic surgery depends on many factors including your own health, the surgical technique, surgical planning, and communication before and after surgery.  Although you are shy about asking questions, this is a real important part of your life and you will know when you find the right match for a plastic surgeon when the communication flows naturally and without prompting.  When you find the right, receptive plastic surgeon, you will not need to go over a checklist of questions.  Keep searching...

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

The three most important questions to ask your surgeon before breast augmentation are:

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1. Which hospital do you have privileges to do breast augmentation?  Many augmentations are done in private operating rooms by "surgeon" who do not have hospital privileges.  This means they are probably not plastic surgeons and should be avoided.  You don't need to have the surgery in a hospital, just know that the surgeon is approved in a hospital that requires proper credentials.

2. May I speak to several of your former patients?  The surgeon should have a number of patients that will discuss their experience with you.  They can give you their path to that surgeon and how smoothly the operation went.

3. How many breast augmentations have you done?  This will reflect on experience.  A surgeon who has done 25 augmentations a year for 25 years probably has seen it all and knows what he is doing.

 

Interview more than one surgeon.  Ask your family physician or someone you know in the medical world about the reputation of the doctor you are considering.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Ask Lots of Questions

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Don't ask only three questions! Before meeting a surgeon check to be sure they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Visit the website of your state medical board to see if they a public record. Check to see that they have hospital priveleges at several local hospitals. Spend time on their website to understand their philosophy about surgery overall.
Read all the answers to this question posted by other physicians. There are a lot of great suggestions.
Look at a lot of before and after photos and evaluate the results. Also evaluate the quality of the before and after photos. Each photos should be shot with the same lighting and positioning with a minimum of 3 positions 1) front 2) side 3) oblique these details can provide an indication of what you might expect from surgery.
Patients need to feel free to ask any and all questions including questions about serious complications, malpractice, and lawsuits. Unless a physician has something to hide they are generally very happy to answer these kinds of questions
It is also imperative to ask to speak to several former patients who can give you information about their experience of the pre-op, the surgery the recovery and the end result. they have a unique persepctive about the practice and the care you will receive from the physician and his or her staff after surgery.
Finally, be certain your immediate post operative appointments are scheduled at your preop appointment. It is not unusual for patients in my practice to seen in the office 3-4 times in the first week after surgery.
If a plastic surgeon aswers every question the way you had hoped, but something inside you is still not confident, wait. Serious doubt means don't. Keep looking. If surgery is right for you, the right surgeon is out there somewhere too.
Good luck to you.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Hopefully, you are asking more than 3 questions.

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Prepare yourself prior to going in for a consultation. You will want to ask yourself many questions before going in for a consultation and upon your search for your plastic surgeon. Three questions to start with include:

(1) Is your surgeon certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (go to ABMS.org to find out);

(2) Is your surgeon a member of ASPS (plasticsurgery.org) and ASAPS (surgery.org), and;

(3) does my surgeon have a valid license to practice medicine/any actions taken against my surgeon (check your state's medical board's website). Good luck.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.