Breast augmentation with implants is one of the most popular surgical procedures in Australia. This article discusses the many things you need to know before proceeding with breast augmentation surgery.
Before breast augmentation you need information about three things: your surgeon, the type of implants and all aspects of the breast augmentation procedure: its potential risks and complications and what to expect after the surgery. We are listing many of the things you need to know about in each area to ensure you are making safe choices that are right for you.
About the surgeon
Your choice of surgeon is a key factor in reducing risks and complications during breast augmentation. Before you choose a surgeon, you need answers to the following questions:
- What are your qualifications?
- How many years have you been practicing surgery?
- How many years have you been performing breast augmentation?
- How many breast implant procedures do you perform each year?
- How many procedures did you do last year?
- What percentage of your practice is dedicated to breast augmentation?
- What are the types of breast implants you use?
- What experience do you have with each type of implant?
- What is the most common complication in breast augmentation that you have encountered?
- What is the general rate of complications occurring in breast augmentations procedures?
- What is the revision surgery rate for breast augmentation with implants?
- What is the most common correction during revision surgery?
- What type of implant shape, size, and surface texture would you recommend for me?
- Why are you recommending this specific type over others?
- How durable are the chosen breast implants?
Outcomes and expectations
Every surgical procedure carries an inherent level of risk that cannot entirely be avoided. Post surgical care by your medical team and how closely you follow your surgeon’s instructions also have a bearing on final outcomes and safe, uneventful recovery.
Risk may be unavoidable, but many unpleasant surprises can be averted. Here are some crucial questions you need answered before committing to this procedure:
- What results can you reasonably expect from your augmentation procedure?
- Are there before and after photos you can look at for each different type of procedure (different incision placements, different types and shapes of implants etc.)?
- How will the breast implants feel to the touch?
- Will the breast implants alter the sensations of the skin on your breasts or your nipples?
- What are the risks and complications associated with having breast implants?
- What can you expect your breasts to look like over time?
- What must you do and avoid in order to maintain their appearance?
- How will you know if your breast implant has ruptured or has other problems?
- What kind of additional follow-up will you need after the implants are in place?
- Will significant weight loss or gain affect the way breast implants look?
About the operation
- Where will the incisions be placed? Where will the scars be?
- Is the procedure performed as a day surgery or will you need an overnight hospital stay?
- How long is the operation going to take?
- How long will you experience pain after the surgery?
- How can you manage the pain?
- How long will it take for full recovery?
- How soon after the operation can you expect to see the final results of the breast augmentation?
- How long will you need to rest before you can resume normal activities?
- Are you likely to need help at home for normal activities immediately after surgery? For how long?
- How long before you can take full charge of small active children or babies?
- How likely is it that you will get an infection after the surgery?
- What type of anaesthesia will be used for your breast augmentation procedure?
- How much risk do you face from the anesthesia, especially if general anaesthesia is being used?
- What can you do to minimise the risk of short-term and long-term complications?
Revision surgery, related surgery and removal of implants
- Will revision surgeries or additional operations be needed?
- How many such operations will you need over your lifetime with this specific type of implant?
- Are there other procedures you may need that are related to the breast augmentation/breast reconstruction procedure?
- How easy or difficult is it to remove the implants should you want to in the future?
- What will your breasts look like if you have the implants removed without replacing them?
- How easy or difficult is it to increase the size of the implants after they have been placed?
- If you decide to remove the implants, will you be able to have other types of breast augmentation afterwards?
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- If you have implants, what will your breasts look like after pregnancy?
- Will they look different after breastfeeding?
- Are the breast implants likely to affect your ability to breastfeed?
Breast cancer and related issues
- Are you a candidate for breast implants if there is a strong history of breast cancer in your family?
- Can you still have mammograms after a breast augmentation procedure?
- Could a mammogram rupture breast implants?
- Can breast cancer return after having a mastectomy?
- Do breast implants increase your risk of breast cancer?
- What are the alternatives to breast implants?
- What are the different types of breast implants available in Australia?
- What are the different techniques for placing implants in your breast?
- How much does an augmentation mammoplasty with implants cost?
- What is included in the total costs for the procedure?
- Does Medicare pay any of these costs?
- Will your private health insurance cover some of the costs?
We hope these questions have given you a good idea about the many things you need to know when deciding to have breast augmentation with implants. Some of these questions have been addressed in previous Costhetics articles.