When you’re considering breast implants, it is often hard to know what questions to ask and who to ask. For many plastic surgeons, breast augmentation is a large part of their practice and their salary. Keep in mind that you may not receive completely objective responses, but here’s a good place to start:
Before you go in, make sure the plastic surgeon is very experienced in breast augmentation. Any physicians or dentists may call themselves cosmetic surgeons even if they aren’t well trained in surgery. That’s perfectly legal, but their patients are taking a risk.
Ideally, you will want to see a plastic surgeon who is board certified in plastic surgery (not in some other medical specialty), because that will help assure you that they received the appropriate training to perform breast augmentation. You can find out if a doctor is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery online.
However, not all board certified plastic surgeons are skilled at implanting or removing breast implants. Check online for complaints about any plastic surgeons that you are considering. If there are serious complaints about patients who were harmed by the surgeon, look for a plastic surgeon with better ratings.
Once you decide to see a surgeon, here are some questions to ask during your appointment:
- Ask about all your options for breast enhancement. Some women may be satisfied with the results from a breast lift alone, and may not need implants to achieve the look they desire. You can also ask your surgeon about a fat transfer as an alternative to implants.
- Ask to see before and after photographs of your plastic surgeon’s patients. Some doctors use photographs of patients whose surgery was done by other surgeons. If the doctor says that the photos are of his/her patients, ask when those patients had surgery. If it was a long time ago, ask to see more recent photos.
- Ask to see photographs of her or his patients that were taken at least three years after the surgery. Many patients look good immediately after surgical scars have healed but their breasts look different years later.
- Ask your doctor for a patient booklet or other written information that includes the risks of breast implants and read that information at least one week before surgery so you have time to ask questions and gather more information.
- Ask for a copy of the informed consent form at least one week before surgery.
- Ask whether there is a warranty on the implants and, if so, what is and isn’t included.
- Ask whether the doctor will remove your implants for free if you have serious problems. If so, will the surgical center services also be free? What if you want them removed, but the doctor doesn’t think it is necessary?
If you’re still unsure about getting breast implants, seek advice from someone that has gone through breast implant surgery at least 5 -10 years ago. They may be able to help you make the decision that is best for you. Click here to read some personal stories from women who had breast implants.
All articles are reviewed and approved by Diana Zuckerman, PhD, and other senior staff.