In order to obtain the best possible result from breast augmentation, the line of communication between the patient and the surgeon is of the utmost importance.
At the initial consultation, after obtaining a history and examining the patient, the plastic surgeon must make a determination whether she is a good candidate. Such a decision must take into consideration not only the anatomy, but also the expectations and emotional motivation of the patient.
When a decision is made to proceed with the surgery, a series of important questions must be answered and explained to the patient:
- What type of implant will be used, silicone gel or saline?
- What size and shape is preferable?
- Where should the incision be made?
- Should the implant be placed under or over the muscles of the chest wall?
- What are the possible complications that may occur, and how often do they occur?
If the patient and the surgeon are in agreement and the patient fully grasps the issues, a second and occasionally third meeting are scheduled before the surgery to allow time for additional questions to be answered and for further consideration by the patient.
In my practice, I encourage patients to bring or choose photographs of what they would like to achieve as it pertains to size and shape. We take those photos to the operating room as a reference during the surgery. Before choosing the optimal permanent implant, temporary implants called sizers are used with the patient in the sitting position under a light anesthesia in order to gauge the effect. Once the ideal sizer has been found, it is removed and the corresponding permanent implant is inserted.
Another important factor in optimizing the result is the care that is given postoperatively. Important instructions must be emphasized by the surgeon and his staff and followed by the patient in order to obtain the best possible result.