When It Comes to Breast Aug, How Do I Decide Between a Surgeon Who Runs a Volume-based Practice and a Surgeon Who Does Not?

I've consulted 3 doctors for breast aug and feel good about all 3. They have great credentials, education, etc. However, while one of them runs a large, volume-based practice, the other 2 perform 75-100 breast augs in a given year...is this too few? What is the "sweet spot" for the number of breast augs a surgeon should perform in a year to have plentiful, continuous experience? I don't want to automatically assume that the surgeon who has done the most procedures is the best choice for me.

Doctor Answers 27

How to choose a surgeon

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You ask an excellent question. How do you choose a surgeon? Surgeons who do over 75 cases a year certainly have enough experience. Just because one surgeon does more cases than another, doesnt mean he is doing them better. Here in south florida, there are a few high volume discount centers. Its fairly common for patients who have surgery there to be unhappy for many reasons including poor results, poor follow up, no one available to answer questions, long waiting times to see their doctor, and even not being able to see their doctor but instead having to see any doctor available. Assuming their credentials are equal, how much time did the doctor spend with you in your consultation? did he have time to answer your questions? what is your gut feeling?

Fort Lauderdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Augmentation, Choosing a surgeon

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The most important thing is that you find a surgeon you are comfortable with, and have a comfort level with her/his expertise. Having breast implants should establish a life long relationship with your surgeon, as you should be followed up routinely as long as you have implants.   You should feel confident about your intra-operative and post-operative care.  Is your surgeon's operative facility certified by an accredited organization?  Will your procedure be performed with adequate anesthesia, preferably by a board anesthesiologist? What type of follow-up care will be provided, and will you be charged for these visits?  How does your surgeon deal with post-operative complications if they occur?  Do you feel comfortable with the office staff?  If you feel comfortable with the results of all the surgeons you have interview, these other factors may help you may a better informed decision.

Diane L. Gibby, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

How Do You Choose A Surgeon?

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Just because an office has high volume doesn't make the surgeon better or worse.  The same goes for a lower volume office.  When making your decision, make sure your surgeon is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, that they use a Board Certified Anesthesiologist in a fully accredited outpatient surgery center, that you like the staff because you will be in contact with them a lot before and after your surgery and also that you have seen before and after photos.  You can also request to talk to a previous patient about their experience in the office.  Most importantly is how you feel about your surgeon, are you comfortable with him/her, do you trust him/her and feel confident in their abilities?  Best of luck making your decision!

Andrew Smith, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Choosing a surgeon

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Thanks for your interesting question.  Personally, I would not base your decision on the number of cases performed by a surgeon in a given year.  There really is no sweet spot for the frequency of cases.  Similary, continuous amounts of surgery do not improve a surgeon's skill.  I would choose a surgeon based on his or her style and results.  After meeting three surgeons, you should choose who you feel can give you the best results and make you feel most comfortable.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

How to pick your Breast Augmentation Surgeon

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It is very important to look at the results of your surgeon. You should be able to see many photos of good results from your surgeon. It is also very important that you feel comfortable with your surgeon. Plastic surgery is so personal. It is important that you are comfortable with the size you pick. At the end of the day  you need to be happy with your results. So, while surgeon with a slow practice may spend more time with you, you need to get a good result. So, as long as you are comfortable with the surgeon, focus on his or her results. Good luck.

How to chose a doctor

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This is a common question and not easy from our side of the argument to answer. Sounds like all three will be able to help you and have a good outcome. 

While it's good to have someone with lots of experience, Volume based = assembly line in my opinion. You don't want to be just another number and for a high volume practice, you won't be spending a lot of quality time with your doctor. 
this is still art. and this is still medicine. Pick the person whom you trust and cares about you and your outcome. 

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Selecting a surgeon

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It sounds from your description that all are adequately qualified to perform the surgery. It certainly seems you have done your "homework" as well in checking their credentials, etc.  Who appealed to you most from a personal standpoint, meaning who did you feel you had the best connection from a doctor-patient standpoint? Was there a particular office where you felt you would receive the best care for follow up appointments or any questions or concerns?  If all else is equal, it seems you won't make a poor decision. Good luck!

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation surgeons

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A surgeon who performs 75 or so cases a year is probably sufficiently experienced to know what he or she is doing with breast augmentation.  Based on the info you give, all three sound like they have plenty of experience.  It also sounds like you have consulted with all three and are comfortable with each, so it sounds like you will be in good hands regardless of which you choose.  Maybe a second consult will the one you like the best will help you in your decision.  Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

100 augmentations per year

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If your research is correct, all 3 are well qualified to do your surgery, provided they are board-certified, and you have inspected their before & after photos and like what you see.

Here are some other things to ponder:  Which office did you prefer?  Who did you feel most comfortable with?  Which office has the best service?  Did they all recommend the same implant - or did you prefer one recommendation over the others?  Have you spoken with other patients who went to that office - what was their experience? 

Breast aug

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If a doctor is doing 75-100 augs a year I think that is plenty to keep a surgeon's skills up to par.Also talking to soem of his old patients is also helpful and in the end what kind of rapport do you have with the doctor.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 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.