What can I expect at my breast enlargement (augmentation) consultation?
It’s vital to choose the right surgeon to carry out your breast augmentation – or any other surgery for that matter. Feeling absolute confidence in your surgeon will help you feel relaxed as you approach your surgery date. So, take the time to find someone you trust.
When choosing your breast consultant
Look for a surgeon who:
- Puts patient care at the top of their agenda (I only work in hospitals with the highest standards of care and hygiene)
- Is highly experienced (I have been a practicing plastic surgeon for almost 20 years)
- Has the appropriate qualifications (I am on the GMC Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery and am a member of both the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
- Offers face to face consultations before breast augmentation surgery takes place
- Provides personal follow up after your operation
On top of this, it’s also important that your surgeon really takes the time to listen to you before you make any decisions, to ensure they understand exactly what you’re hoping to achieve through your breast enlargement surgery.
Your breast enlargement consultation
The consultation is your opportunity to assess your surgeon to decide whether this is the right person to undertake your surgery for you. It’s also the time for you to clarify that the procedure you want is the right one for you.
Consultations should always take place face to face with the surgeon who will be carrying out your operation. Without this, it’s impossible for any surgeon to accurately assess your needs and to explain how they can achieve the look you want.
When you meet your chosen breast augmentation surgeon, use this opportunity to explain as clearly as possible what your expectations are from this operation.
Your expectations from breast augmentation surgery
Most people have a fairly clear idea on what cup size they want, the shape of breast they’re hoping for and whether they’re looking to address any other issues – such as breast asymmetry or droop.
But, if you’re not 100% clear how you want your breasts to look, talk to your consultant about why you’re unhappy with your existing breasts. A good consultant will take the time to listen and then explain what different procedures can achieve, so you can make an informed decision.
A reputable surgeon will not encourage you to make any decisions in a rush or under any other kind of pressure.
At your consultation with me, I spend time finding out exactly what your expectations are, how you want your breasts to look and why you’re dissatisfied with your existing breasts.
I also review your medical history to confirm you’re well enough for the operation. This includes finding out about any current medication you may be taking, allergies you may suffer from and whether you smoke.
I also conduct a clinical examination. One of my nurses will be there during this examination. This examination is an important part of the process as it allows me to evaluate your body structure and determine what kind of implants would be most appropriate for you.
We take clinical photographs to help prepare for your surgery and (most patients love this part) so you can see a very clear before and after!
Your face will NOT appear in any of the photographs and you will be asked for written consent to having these photographs taken and stored.
Use this link to view my before and after breast enlargement patients.
For many patients, this is where things start to get really exciting – working out the best implant for you. It’s called trial-sizing.
Basically, this involves you trying out different implants to decide how you want your new breasts to look.
You wear a special crop top (provided by us) which we insert various prostheses in, so you can see how larger breasts will look on you. It’s not just about the size though, there are different shaped implants, which offer a different final appearance. We will try as many different implants as we need to. This is a simple, but effective, way for you to get a really good idea of how your new breasts will look.
There are two stages to trial-sizing:
- Stage one – choosing your preferred size
- Stage two – taking careful measurements to make sure that the size you prefer will suit your chest wall.
Usually there isn’t a conflict between the two parameters. However, I take great pride in creating natural looking breasts so occasionally, I do insist on a compromise to avoid that ‘stuck on’ appearance!
Four rules of trial-sizing
There are also four rules to trial-sizing:
- It is important not to choose implants that are too big.
- There is not one implant which is perfect for your frame.
- There will be a range of sizers called your ‘happy range’. My job is to get you into your happy range where you are most likely to feel comfortable with the final outcome.
- The fourth rule is the most difficult and can sound contradictory to rule 1!
Lots of girls return after surgery with a big smile on their face saying they are delighted with the outcome of surgery … but … they wish they had gone a little larger.
So – at the trial-sizing stage if you’re uncertain which size implant you want, I will generally encourage you to go for the slightly larger implant. But, this is an initial breast augmentation consultation; you have the opportunity to discuss this later and to change your mind if you’re not happy.
Explaining the breast augmentation procedure and process
Once we have decided on the ideal implant for you, we will discuss the procedure, the recovery period and the possible complications associated with surgery and with breast implants.
This is your chance to ask any questions you may have about exactly what will happen at every stage of the process. You should feel confident and comfortable about what lies ahead and feel safe about the procedure you have chosen.
At the end of the consultation, I encourage all my patients to go away and think about things before making any decisions. This gives you time to consider everything we’ve discussed and to mull over any further questions you may have.
After the consultation, I email you information on pricing, post-operative recovery and a consent form.
I encourage patients to return for a second consultation. At this second state we repeat trial-sizing and answer any final questions you may have before deciding on a date for surgery.
It’s only by going through this rigorous process that I can be sure I fully understand the outcome you’re after and you can be confident I will achieve the breasts you’ve always wanted.
If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, why not read more about this breast procedure and next steps.
In my last article, I discussed breast augmentation recovery.
Mr Guy D. Sterne
MB, ChB, FRCS, MD, FRCS (Plast)
Consultant Plastic Surgeon