How Do I Find the Best Breast Augmentation Surgeon?

considering breast augmentation.  who does the best quality cosmetic surgery?

Doctor Answers 149

The Best Breast Aug Surgeon - Natural Looking Results

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When considering breast augmentation surgery, I believe that the most important question for a prospective patient to ask themselves is this: Am I seeking a natural-appearing result? If the answer is yes, then seek out a surgeon who has the same aesthetic sensibility that you have (and appropriate training and experience). And insist on seeing `before and after' photos. A lot of them. A plastic surgeon with experience and expertise should have dozens of before and after images of breast augmentation from three different angles, all with the same lighting, distance from the camera and cropping. 
I have never understood the desire on the part of patients or physicians (especially physicians) to create unnaturally large breasts. I see 'before and after' photos at plastic surgery meetings and I almost always find myself asking the question: What's the `big' idea?
I view breast augmentation as more than a breast enhancement surgery. It is a total body contouring surgery, and the breast profile that one creates with implants should match a patient's overall figure. It should appear completely plausible that the breasts have not been surgically enhanced. I want for my patient's appearance to make others think "Wow - what a great figure", not "I wonder who her plastic surgeon is".
Over and over I hear patients remark, after reviewing some of our `before and after' photos, that they had no idea that a breast augmentation could look so natural. It can, and in my opinion it should. Having practiced plastic surgery in the 'breast augmentation capital of the world' (Los Angeles), and having performed hundreds of breast augmentations in North Carolina for patients who are seeking a breast enhancement that looks like it actually is a natural part of their body, I have developed some fairly strong opinions about this operation.
it is important to discuss the following with your plastic surgeon
  • Cohesive silicone gel vs. saline breast implants
  • How many cc's? - deciding on implant volume
  • Incision locations
  • Subpectoral vs prepectoral implant position
  • Special considerations like tuberous breasts or bodybuilders
  • Breast augmentation after pregnancy
  • Special considerations: asymmetry, tuberous/constricted breasts, etc
  • Recovery and downtime
  • Avoiding capsular contracture
  • Revisional breast augmentation surgery
  • Will he or she use shaped form stable breast implants
  • How does the plastic surgeon prevent bottoming out and the "double bubble" effect
  • How does the surgeon prevent rippling and palpability of the implant?
I have informational videos about many aspects of breast augmentation surgery on my website. I hope you find them helpful. 

Some women are very concerned with the size of the implant and whether or not the implant will be placed in the subpectoral position.  These are important considerations, but only a very small part of what it takes to create a beautiful, natural looking result from breast implants. The meticulous creation of a pocket, by a plastic surgeon with talent and expertise is what makes the difference in a beautiful, lasting result, and a result that doesn't look natural from the start, or a result that doesn't last. 

When researching the training of a plastic surgeon, check to see if they attended a top medical school and graduated among the top in tier class. Where did they receive their formal surgical training? A prestigious university medical center? How many years of training did your plastic surgeon receive. The minimum for board-certification, but some surgeons elect to undergo as many as ten years of formal surgical training. 

Of course select a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and perhaps a member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Viewing many photographs can also help you to determine whether or not a plastic surgeon shares your aesthetic sensibility

You should be able to speak to previous patients and discuss their experience with them.

It is also critical to ask about the surgery center where your procedure will be performed. You need to know about accreditation, sterile processing procedures and who will be with you in the surgery. In my office I work with a board certified anesthesiologist, certified surgical technicians and nurses who are in the room during surgery. We also have preoperative nurses and a nurse for post anesthetisia care. Of course we also have a certified sterile processing technician. 
Remember the results from this procedure are permanent. Take your time researching your plastic surgeon and ask any questions you have on your mind.  

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Find Best Breast Augmentation Surgeon by Word of Mouth , Credentials and Realself

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Thank you for your question. It is a very important one. You are off to a very good start by participating in Realself.

Obviously you should insist on only seeing an experienced Plastic Surgeon who is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Plastic Surgeons have to be Board Certified to Participate in Realself.

Read doctor reviews to try to get a sense of what patients are saying about the doctor.

Most importantly, try to find people you know who have had Breast Augmentation Surgery and ask about their experience.

See more than one doctor. Trust your gut instincts about the personality of the doctor and the concern that he/she shows towards you.

Ask to speak to former patients who have had surgery with this doctor. Ask your primary care doctor about the reputation of the doctors that you are seeing.

The Best Breast Augmentation Surgeon for you will not only be the best technical surgeon but more importantly the best fit for you emotionally-post op support is extremely important.


This is difficult because of the vast array of doctors...

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This is difficult because of the vast array of doctors who now offer aesthetic services but who may have never had formal residency training. This is a "buyer beware" scenario of the highest order because it involves your body, your face and your health and safety. The law does not restrict MDs from doing cosmetic surgery even if they have not had proper training in it.

The best ways to search the right doctor for you are to start by asking friends and physicians for recommendations. Research the credentials of the doctor and then set up a consultation. At that visit be sure you spend ample time with the doctor. I personally spend an hour with each new patient. Usually, free consultations are a red flag because they will involve minimal time with the doctor and you won't have the opportunity to assess that individual completely.

Make certain that the doctor has extensive experience in the procedure you are interested in having and performs it frequently. Ask for patient referrals.

Multiple un-retouched photos of patients having the same procedure as you want are the next key step. You must see in those photos results that reflect what you are wanting for yourself. Remember that you are seeing that doctor's very best work so don't hope you will get a better result than you are seeing in the photos.

Finally, do not schedule surgery unless your gut instinct tells you it is appropriate.

How Do You Choose A Breast Surgeon?

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The first place to start is The American Board of Plastic Surgery. Are they certified by this board? Also, have they taken the time and interest to complete the Maintence of Certification and have they re-certified their boards(recommended after 10 years)? A referal from a friend or family member is helpful if there are many BC surgeons in your area. The next step is how experienced are they in breast augmentation? Ask them how many of these procedures do they do in a year. Ask to see results and also to speak to patients that have had augmentation. Finally you must feel comfortable and safe with your choice. Do you like your surgeon?

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Breast augmentation surgeon

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FInding the "best" plastic surgeon can be challenging. I suggest that you consult with several board certified plastic surgeons and after your consultations, sit down and reflect on what is important to you. You should go with your gut instincts and make sure you choose based on factors other than simply price.

You should feel that your surgeon has the skills and artistic/aesthetic eye to shape your breasts the way you desire. Also, you should feel that your surgeon will "be there for you" if you need revision or have any sort of complications. It is important your surgeon chooses an implant type and size that is best fit for your specific breast anatomy.

You do not want a surgeon who always likes to place huge implants to try to camouflage flaws in your breasts like sagging. You will then be sure to have to have surgery revision after revision in the future. You want to do this safely and mimize your future risks.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ghavami

Ashkan Ghavami, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Best Breast Augmentation Surgeon

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Thanks for the question.

There are several factors in determining how to pick a reputable breast augmentation surgeon. Certainly, make sure the surgeon is a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Beyond that, you want to make sure the surgeon performs a significant amount of these procedures on a regular basis. Additionally, during the consultation, get a gestalt as to the surgeon's philosophy on breast augmentations.

You want to make sure your surgeon has an "aesthetic eye" for a good looking breast. You have to keep in mind that artistic flare is neither derived from a surgeon's training program nor their baseline intelligence.

While speciality training certainly measures certain baseline parameters necessary for requisite competency levels, it does not necessarily equate with having an "aesthetic" knack found in an exceptional plastic surgeon. I would also suggest speaking with the surgeon's prior patients.

Ask if they are happy with their results, with the experience, with their facility, etc. Best of luck in your search.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Experience and Credentials Will Lead You To The Best!

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I give frequent educational seminars and this question always comes up. Here are the tips I give to prospective patients:

1. Look for a surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This should be the big number one. If not, go elsewhere.

2. Find a surgeon who has a focus in aesthetic surgery. You can find this out by asking if they are a member of the Aesthetic Society, also called the ASAPS. In order to be a member you must be board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and prove that you focus is in aesthetic surgery by doing predominantly cosmetic surgery

3. As how many breast augmentations the surgeon does each year. If he does this procedure weekly he probably has the required experience.

4. Ask anyone who will sit still long enough about his/her reputation. Former patients are the best source. Ask you medical doctor or family physician. Ask anyone you think may know him/her. Call the county medical society and the state medical board to check for any complaints or prior disciplinary action.

5. Make sure he has privileges to do the same procedure at a major local hospital. The requirements are usually stringent and indicate competence.

6. Look for someone who spends 45 min - 60 min during the consultation and gives you a feeling of competence and comfort. They should be open to questions and not cut you off. YOU should decide the size of your implants based on their guidance and your goals. Don't let the doctor tell you what you should want. They should be willing to show many examples of their work and give you the name of patients who are willing to describe their experience.

In summary, do your homework and you will naturally lead yourself to a highly competent surgeon who will provide you with the best that the procedure of breast augmentation can offer you.

4 tips for finding the best breast augmentation surgeon for you

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In the past, choosing your best surgeon was a matter of interviewing several surgeons and asking friends or other doctors for advice. Now, there are several different types of physicians performing breast augmentation surgery in the United States. These are not all trained the same.

  1. Make sure that your breast surgeon is a Plastic Surgeon. Plastic surgeons undergo years of rigorous training and routinely perform breast augmentation. Ask your doctor if he or she is a Plastic Surgeon
  2. Look for physcians who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This does not guarantee that the physician will be the best, but does ensure that the physician is a Plastic Surgeon. Do not trust any physician that tells you they are "certified in Breast Augmentation". This likely means that they learned how to do breast augmentation at a weekend course.
  3. Ask where your procedure will be performed. If not at a hospital, find out if the physician has privileges to perform the procedure in a hospital. If your physician does not have privileges to perform breast augmentation at a hospital then something is very wrong. In San Antonio, we have several Plastic Surgeons performing Breast Augmentation in their in-office OR, but these facilities are usually fully accredited and the surgeons have privileges to perform breast augmentation at one of the local hospitals.
  4. Make sure you sit down with the surgeon and all of your questions are answered. You also must feel comfortable with the plastic surgeon and be able to discuss all of your questions and concerns. Your surgeon may be technically outstanding, but if you cannot relate to the surgeon, then this is not the best plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation.

These are just 4 quick tips that will not ensure that your breast surgeon is the best, but will ensure that your surgeon is competent. After you have satisfied these 4 tips, then you can use common sense and narrow down your choice to 1 or 2 high quality plastic surgeons.

Suresh Koneru, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Smart Choices in Search of the

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Finding the right doctor to perform your plastic surgery is now both easier than ever, and yet more complicated. The upsurge in popularity of cosmetic surgery has attracted hordes of poorly-trained and unqualified physicians looking to make a quick buck, or to leverage their existing patient base into a new source of income free of insurance reimbursement restraints. Combined with the increasing numbers of well-trained, board-certified surgeons and dermatologists coming from approved university programs, patients are bombarded with choices when it comes to selecting a doctor for their Botox injections, Liposuction, or Breast Augmentations, and everything in between.

Traditionally, patients have relied on word-of-mouth referrals when researching doctors to provide care for themselves or a family member. A happy former patient who is willing to share his or her positive experience of treatment by a physician is the gold standard referral for prospective new patients and the treating cosmetic surgeon alike. And yet, in this competitive current environment saturated with providers, anyone you ask may be able to name from five to ten providers of distinct or overlapping cosmetic services from whom to choose. A patient walking into any medical building in Beverly Hills is likely to encounter a building directory with up to 25 or more cosmetic service providers in the various specialties, all of whom may do Botox or other injections, while some may perform only facial cosmetic surgery, and others perform plastic surgery of the face, breast, and body.

So, although word-of-mouth referrals are valuable, they are also a bit like copying someone else’s homework - you may or may not arrive at the right answer, and you didn’t put any effort into the learning process.

The Internet has become the most powerful tool in the patient’s armamentarium when it comes to researching potential providers of cosmetic services. At the same time, the Internet has become a vast swamp of competing, eye-catching advertisements. In the pre-Internet age, competing Yellow Pages ads attempted to lure patients, based on the size of the ad and the size of the marketing budget. Now, patients may find a doctor through a variety of portals, links, blogs, etc. How does a patient navigate the web haystack to find the needle?

I believe the best answer is a combined approach. Starting with family, friends, and co-workers, prospective patients should develop a list of word-of-mouth referrals to begin their own research. These are the people whose judgment you are most likely to trust.

From there, patients should comb the Internet, focusing on those doctors on the word-of-mouth list, to verify the training and credentials of the doctor. Board Certification status, as well as any disciplinary actions against the doctor by the Medical Board, can and should be researched before you schedule a consultation. Websites which are sponsored by the various surgical sub-specialty groups generally require their members to have attained board certification as a condition of listing on the site.

The final phase of selecting your physician involves scheduling a consultation visit. Although you may be asked to pay a reasonable consultation fee for the doctor’s time, I encourage patients to see more than one potential provider. Your ultimate satisfaction with the experience will involve your level of comfort and rapport with your chosen doctor, his staff, and the office environment, none of which can be evaluated from the website, so this is money well-spent. Your doctor should explain your options in clear language that you understand, and you should have the opportunity not only to look at “before and after” photos, but also to speak with former or current patients of the doctor if this will assist you in reaching your decision to enter into a doctor-patient relationship.

Happy hunting!

Athleo Louis Cambre, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Research pays off when choosing a breast implant surgeon

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When you are considering breast augmentation, be sure to research both the procedure and your surgeon extensively.

Learn as much as you can about the procedure using online sources (visit reputable websites such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the ASAPS website) that do not feature only one surgeon, and that provide data on national statistics and safety issues.

Visit a surgeon who is experienced with breast augmentation, and is Board-Certified by either the American Board of Medical Specialties or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (these are the only two Boards recognized by the American Societies for Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).

Write your questions down for your surgeon, and ask to see before-and-after photographs of typical (not just the best) patient results. Ask to speak to patients who have had the procedure before.

Do your homework! Ensure you have found a good fit with the surgeon in terms of personality, office environment, and aesthetic goals for the procedure.

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.