Breast Augmentation ( the procedure to place breast implants) is one of the most common procedures I perform as a Philadelphia plastic surgeon, but the surgery is not the most important part of the process. Actually, it may be the least important part. While breast augmentation surgery does require technical skill and sound surgical judgement, by the time you reach the operating room many of the most important decisions have already been made. Those decisions made before the actual operation, in most instances, will have the greatest impact on your results and happiness with them.
Who will perform your Breast Augmentation?
In order to get the result you want from your breast augmentation you should start with someone that has a background and skill to be able to guide you to achieving the best results. You need to see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. You would be surprised how many physician there are claiming to be plastic or cosmetic surgeons who have received little or no formal training in plastic surgery. You would not go to your gynecologist for brain surgery, would you? So make sure you go to a Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This means they have the training and passed extensive screening to be deemed worthy of the title Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. What this means to you is that your likelihood of an excellent result is much higher. Better yet find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon that focuses on breast surgery.
What Do You Want Your Breasts To look like?
Obtaining excellent results with breast augmentation as with all plastic surgery starts with the surgeon’s understanding of the your goals. Simply put what do you want to change and what do you expect to look like after the surgery. Time taken to understand your specific goals rather than just bigger breasts leads to excellent outcomes and happy patients. A few minutes in front a mirror leads to much more specific goals, ( increased fullness, less droop, improved symmetry, decreased areola size).
What can I realistically make your breasts look like?
The next part of the discussion is what goals can I as a plastic surgeon realistically achieve for you. If the plastic surgeon has not taken the time to understand the patient’s goals it is very unlikely they will be able to achieve them. Once I as a plastic surgeon understand what you are trying to achieve, then we can discuss the options for going from what your breasts currently look like to what you want them to look like. My job at this point is to discuss with you what can be done to achieve the look you want. Essentially I need to help you form a picture in your mind of what I can realistically make your breasts look like. I often accomplish this through drawings, markings on the patient’s actual breasts and last but not least use of implant sizers. I can not stress how important this step is.
A word on Breast implant sizing
Many patients come to the office seeking a specific bra size. While it is good to have a picture in your mind as to what you want your breast to look like, bra sizes are not standardized. What someone calls a C cup another person may call a D cup and this goes for bra designers also. Cup size varies with band size so a 32 C cup is much smaller than a 38 C cup.
I have tried many different techniques for breast implant sizing including rice sizing, standard implants in a sizing bra, and 3D imaging, but based on my experience the current Mentor Sizing system is the best. The Mentor sizing system most closely predicts your appearance after breast augmentation with a specific size implant. Even better is the fact that patients can try on their specific clothing with the implant sizers. The Mentor sizing system is truly revolutionary.
Big Decision: Do the pictures match?
Does the picture that I as the plastic surgeon painted for you as to what your breasts would look like after breast augmentation close enough to that picture you have in your mind of what you want your breast to look like? If the answer is yes then you will most likely be very pleased with your results. If the answer is no. Then you should consider two things. 1. You may wish to consult with another plastic surgeon to see if they can come closer to your goals. 2. It may be that unfortunately the picture of what you want your breast to look like is not achievable without some compromise.
The above again assumes that you have a board certified plastic surgeon who is skilled and experienced in breast augmentation performing your procedure. While the actual procedure may not be the most important part, a board certified plastic surgeon has been extensively trained to help you achieve the best results safely. Please sure any of your cosmetic procedures are performed by a board certified plastic surgeon.
Raymond Jean MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Bryn Mawr, PA Philadelphia, PA
Main Line Plastic Surgery