Breast augmentation surgery is now one of the world’s most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures. There are over 60,000,000 implants currently implanted in women around the world. Despite being a popular procedure, there are some important factors and considerations to make when undergoing breast augmentation surgery. We are very up front about costs, credentials, implant benefits, risks and recovery.
We frequently receive enquiries from women who have had breast augmentation surgery elsewhere in the past and wish to have their surgery revised. We’ve collated the most common “what I wish I’d known” statements below. It’s important to ask questions and get as much information as possible (and read it carefully) the first time around, to ensure an optimal outcome:
1. What are my surgeon’s credentials?
Did you know, in Australia, any doctor can legally call themselves a ‘surgeon’ even if they haven’t undergone the Medical Board recognised training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. If your doctor calls themselves a surgeon and isn’t on this list, they aren’t a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Specialist plastic surgeons undergo extensive training in surgical safety, infection prevention techniques and implant selection to ensure a low risk of infection. To further increase patient safety in breast implant surgery, a 14-Point-Plan has been developed by Specialist Plastic Surgeons to minimise the risk of bacterial contamination of an implant and improve outcomes.
Specialist Plastic Surgeons are committed to lifelong learning in breast implant surgery to update their skills and knowledge continually, ensuring they are equipped with the latest skills and technological advancements.
2. What is the safety profile of my implants and what are their warranty provisions?
Specialist Plastic Surgeons use products that are approved by the TGA. Not all implants are created equal; they carry different risks, warranty provisions (ranging from very restricted short term cover through to life long support should you have a complication). Your surgeon should be able to explain the difference between the key brands of implants currently available. It is likely your surgeon has a specific brand of implants that she or he favours, and they should be able to explain to you in detail as to why they have chosen these. The implants Dr Sharp uses come with extensive replacement and warranty provisions, offering additional peace of mind to patients.
3. What safety measures does my surgeon take when performing augmentation surgery?
In Australia, Specialist Plastic Surgeons operate in licensed hospital facilities that have excellent infection control standards to ensure the best outcomes for patients. The diligent and systematic application of antimicrobial strategies at the time of breast implant surgery has been shown to reduce the risk of implant complications. You surgeon will be able to explain the steps they take to ensure best practice standards are upheld, or exceeded.
4. What might my recovery look like and what do I need to consider when planning my recovery?
Good questions to ask might include:
- How much time will I need off work?
- When can I return to the gym (and what I can return to doing)?
- How am I going to lift my young child in and out of the car for the first 6-12 weeks?
- Do I have a special event coming up and will this impact the outfit I can wear or activities I can participate in?
- What if my recovery doesn’t go to plan or takes longer; how will that impact my income, lifestyle or finances?
5. Am I clear on what I do and don’t like about my breasts; and do I have realistic expectations?
Plastic surgery isn’t an exact science (as much as we wish it was). Each patient is unique and comes with a different body shape, chest width, skin condition and health profile. While your surgeon will do their absolute best to achieve your desired outcome it’s important to remember that this procedure is about improving - not perfecting - your breasts. If you are chasing perfection or want to look identical to someone else, you might be disappointed with your end result.
When performed by a specialist plastic surgeons with high quality implants under the right surgical conditions, breast augmentation is very safe procedure. The above information is by no means exhaustive; our patients have at least 2 consultations with Dr Sharp before their surgery and spend at least 1.5 hours in the clinic with us covering off a wide range of information before having their procedure.
Having a breast augmentation can be an exciting experience but it’s not something to rush into. See more than one surgeon, ask lots of questions and do your research!