Breast Augmentation – How To Get Started?

By Kelsey Chisholm

Breast Augmentation – How To Get Started?
Breast Augmentation – How To Get Started?

Article Highlights

  • Moving forward with an elective surgery, one must be prepared physically, emotionally and financially before undergoing any procedure
  • How frequently the particular type of procedure is performed by the surgeon
  • Before and after photos can give you a good understanding of post operation healing, complications and a basic idea of the result
  • Hospital privileges are granted to a surgeon upon completion of examinations and hourly experience

When it comes to breast augmentation and implant selection, some women may not know where to begin their research and how to prepare the necessary questions to ask during the consultation regarding the benefits and risks of their chosen elective surgery.

“We have patients coming in for breast augmentation at all points in their life, be it before marriage, after a divorce, or in a happy and healthy relationship,” said Dr. Ryan Frank, a plastic surgeon based in Calgary, Canada. “We ensure our patients are well informed and psychologically and emotionally prepared to undergo an augmentation procedure.”

Moving forward with an elective surgery, one must be prepared physically, emotionally and financially before undergoing any procedure.


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“During our consultations, we get our patients to take pictures of themselves with the trial implants tucked into their bra to help them get a sense for what they will look like,” said Dr. Frank. “We explain to them all the risks and benefits of the surgery to ensure they are as well informed as possible.”

During the consultation time, you may ask how the surgeon prepares their patients for surgery and how often they will follow up with you after the surgery. Most surgeons will see you for a pre-operation appointment, this can include going through a list of medications and vitamins to avoid, the goal of the surgery again, and blood work to have completed before surgery.

“I want every single one of my patients going in to the procedure with no questions lingering in their minds. I think being well informed and well prepared really helps the patient feel comfortable and well taken care of,” Dr. Frank maintained.


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Post surgery follow up appointments are very important as the surgeon can monitor your health and healing progress over a period of time. In most cases a surgeon will see you one week post-op, two weeks post-op, one month and through out the year or more during your healing time. In case of emergencies the surgeon should provide you with an emergency phone number where they can be reached. We have picked some key points that may help guide you through the intricacies of understanding some of the medical requirements your potential plastic surgeon should have:

• Board certification is the first important credential that you will need to look for in your potential surgeon. Board certification indicates that the surgeon is medically educated, trained and meets the licensee criteria to perform surgery in the specific specialty. Specifically in the practice of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, it is crucial that the surgeon has board certification in one of the following: Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Canadian Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, or the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Double board certification can be an additional excellent asset, as this indicates that the surgeon has successfully completed further surgical testing to obtain more than one board certification or different memberships within their specialty of surgery.

• Another important variable to research and to ask is if the surgeon specializes in the type of surgery you are interested in. You will want to find out how frequently the particular type of procedure is performed. Every surgeon should be open to discussing with you the risks of the surgery, the percentage of each risk and what their revision rate/percentage is. Even in the best of hands there are always different healing outcomes.

• Before and after photos can be important to view as well. Before and after photos can give you a good understanding of post operation healing, complications and a basic idea of the result. However, it is important to understand that each individual does have different anatomy. Asymmetries of the body and face are apparent in most patients before surgery and will be present after surgery. The healing process or result outcomes cannot always be controlled by the patient or by the surgeon.

• When choosing your surgeon, it is important to ask if they have hospital privileges to one or more hospitals in your city. Hospital privileges are granted to a surgeon upon completion of examinations and hourly experience. Therefore in the event of a surgical emergency, the surgeon is able to transport the patient to the hospital where the privileges apply and can receive the proper care needed.

“The biggest thing I ensure with any patient I operate on electively is that they understand the risks and benefits, and that they have realistic expectations of what each procedure will do for that individual patient. I always make sure women realize that no two breasts are identical and that there will be asymmetries after any breast procedure,” says Dr. Frank. “I also ensure my patients understand that it is my job to provide them with an excellent result for that patient’s body, and steer that patient towards an implant that is suitable for her breast plate measurements. I want all of my patients to look as good as possible, and will always guide them toward receiving a result that will suit them.”

You can alleviate post operation stress by recovering in a stress-free environment and by feeling prepared for all outcomes of surgery. You may choose to be with family members or friends to help you with the immediate care that you will need after surgery.

Listed below are some questions you can ask yourself in preparation for your surgery:

• Do you accept the risks and benefits of this surgery? • Do you feel prepared emotionally to accept the risks associated with your procedure?

• Do you have a healing plan or family/friends to help you during your healing process?

• Have you asked your plastic surgeon all the questions to make you feel comfortable going ahead with the procedure?

“You can really get a sense for what a patient’s motives are by simply listening. Everyone has a story to tell, and I think by simply listening, you can get a real sense for whether or not the patient is in a good place [mentally and emotionally] to proceed ahead. Certainly any excessive emotions (tearfulness, elation, anxiety) are fairly easily detectable during conversation, and these are all explored,” said Dr. Ryan. “If I sense that a patient is excessively nervous or tearful, I will simply ask them about their fears or hesitations. If I sense my patient is under any sort of emotional pressure to get the procedure done, I will explore those feelings and suggest we wait until she is ready.”

Cosmetic surgery is a personal decision and it cannot be influenced by anyone other than you. By considering these helpful steps, you can find the most suitable plastic surgeon for your elective procedure.



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