12-Point Breast Augmentation Checklist: How to Get a Fabulous Result under the Safest Conditions
So you’re considering getting a Breast Augmentation? Congratulations! This is a very exciting time for you, but possibly also a nerve-racking one if you’ve heard the horror stories about cheap cosmetic surgery gone wrong.
We know all about these stories because we receive 2-3 calls per week from desperate patients who have had cheap surgery from inexperienced or overseas doctors and ended up with problems they either can’t afford to fix, or even worse, are not fixable! This wave of ‘cheap’ surgery in Australia is luring women in with low prices instead of high standards or surgeon-reputation. Our regular advice to patients is to always choose on quality, never choose on price alone. Cheap surgery can end up very expensive surgery if something goes wrong or the result is not as you had hoped!
So how do you plan for a quality Breast Augmentation result? There are many factors along the way that can lead to problems, so we’ve put together this 12-point checklist so you can plan ahead for your Breast Augmentation and get the best possible result!
1. Research the Breast Augmentation Surgeon’s qualifications, reputation and experience specifically in Breast Augmentation.
Don’t just choose a surgeon at random or on price, not that you guys would, but make sure you do a bit of research. There is a tonne of information online in forums, patient reviews, and newspaper/magazine write-ups. With a bit of Googling you will start to find out who the available top surgeons are. Don’t forget to ask your friends if they can recommend anyone! Then dig a bit deeper and find out what reputation your prospective Surgeon has and how long they have been performing Breast Augmentations.
There are so many places to look for reviews online these days, you can be sure to find testimonials and reviews about every Surgeon you’re considering. Don’t just rely on testimonials that they put on their website, search Google and Facebook as well.
Realistically, any surgeon is likely to have the occasional negative review. So, read online reviews carefully – what are the major issues that reviewers have had with the surgeon or clinic? Is it a fundamental problem, or just a matter of a personality clash or something of the sort? Our patients have given us a 5 star rating on Google!
2. Seek out the ‘Before & After’ photos of Breast Augmentations by the surgeon(s) you’re considering
Nothing can demonstrate a surgeon’s ability more than their ‘Before & After photos. If the surgeon you are interested in doesn’t have any or many to show you, then keep looking! You don’t want to be dealing with a surgeon who can’t demonstrate their experience. Look for photos that show the type of look you’re after. If they don’t have a look that you’re after in their Photo Gallery, then don’t expect them to produce it for you. Visit our Before & After Gallery.
3. Decide on your Surgeon and book a consultation
Quality clinics will book you in for at least one long consultation – 1 or 2 hours – with the surgeon who’ll be performing the procedure. Your surgeon should be doing your ENTIRE consultation, not just part of it! Cheaper clinics sometimes save money here by using a nurse for the consultation stage instead. Beware of clinics that tell you that you “don’t need to talk to the surgeon” or give you a rushed, sales-pitch-heavy consultation. Your consultation should run through all the information and decisions that you need to make. Click here for a full run-down on our consultation process.
4. Choose the implants that will best give you the ‘look’ you’re after from a RANGE of different implants from your surgeon
Make sure your Surgeon hands you ALL the implant shapes and sizes that suit your measurements to insert into a ‘crop top’ and compare. Silicone implants come with Smooth and Textured surfaces in various shapes and sizes to suit everyone’s needs and tastes. Your Surgeon should be able walk you through all your implant options and help you make a well-informed decision. If they don’t offer a wide range of implants for you to compare, then you owe it to yourself to get a second opinion.
5. Choose the incision technique according to the Pros and Cons explained by your Surgeon from a range of incision techniques and placements.
There are four different incision points and four different implant positions to choose from. Your Surgeon should explain the pros and cons of each approach to you at your Consultation.
If your surgeon can only offer you one incision location, it may be the only one they know and so you may not be getting the one that is best for you. Being fully informed is the best way to make sure you will make the right choices. Our Table of the Pros and Cons of the different Breast Augmentation Incision approaches and our outline of Breast Implant Positions should get you started!
6. Best way to choose the size and shape of your implants is by trying them on first.
Your Surgeon should have ALL your implant options appropriate for your chest measurements to try on for size in a crop-top. If they don’t have them on hand, they should be able to get them in for you to go back and try on before you decide. Choosing the next size up or down without seeing it in a crop-top is a recipe for disappointment! When it’s all done, you really want to be happy with the size you chose and trying them on first is the best way to be sure!
7. Ensure there will be an Anaesthetist in constant attendance during your surgery.
Anaesthetists don’t just administer the drugs that send you into unconsciousness or what we call ‘Twilight Sedation’. They are also experts in knowing what to do if anything goes wrong during the anaesthesia. It doesn’t happen very often, but such situations are difficult to predict and can be life-threatening. That’s why we always have an Anaesthetist in constant attendance through your entire procedure: your safety and well-being is our prime consideration. Again, this is an area in which cheaper clinics will often cut costs by not having an Anaesthetist present. Don’t risk it!
If you were to have a reaction to a drug or any other unexpected medical problem during your surgery, there is NOBODY in that room as qualified as a Specialist Anaesthetist to manage your emergency. Even if you’re told that you’ll be fine with their Nurse giving you the drugs because “they’ve never had a problem” don’t be tempted – you could be the first!
8. Anaesthesia: ‘Twilight Anaesthesia’ (sometimes called Sedation Anaesthesia) or General Anaesthesia?
General Anaesthesia renders you unconscious for the duration of the procedure. Twilight Sedation keeps you somewhat awake and able to respond to the surgeon, but in order to stop you from wriggling around from pain, high doses of local anaesthetic sometimes need to be used, and this is where problems can arise.
In 2015, there were a number of media reports of patients suffering cardiac arrests or convulsions in unlicensed private clinics and being rushed by ambulance to hospital emergency departments. These reactions were thought to have come about from excessive doses of local anaesthetic used to keep patients pain-free and still during surgery.
For these reasons, including patient safety & comfort, we have always recommended only General Anaesthesia for Breast Surgery and are proud of our 100% safety record in this regard!
9. Allow yourself time to properly digest and consider all the information received
Some clinics try to rush their patients from Initial Consultation straight to Surgery. However, this is an important decision that you’re making, and it’s essential that you take the time to ensure that you have and understand all the facts involved. Avoid any clinic that is happy to see you one day and operate on you the next!
Rushing into surgery this way leaves no time for you to:
- properly digest and consider all the information before proceeding; and
- decide whether you in fact wish to go ahead; and
- have blood tests and ensure that your health is at optimum levels for the surgery.
If a clinic doesn’t have a wait time between your Initial Consultation and Surgery, then they’re not keeping your health as their top priority.
Also, what if they don’t have in stock, or can’t have delivered in time, the implants that will give you the best possible result? Will they insert the next closest ones from what they have on their shelves? This ‘near enough is good enough’ approach is not in your best interests and it’s something we never do!
10. Have blood tests and any other tests the Surgeon feels are necessary to ensure you are fit & healthy for surgery.
To ensure you have no underlying health problems that could compromise your surgery, safety or outcome, we always recommend pre-operative investigations to confirm that you’re fit and healthy for anaesthesia and surgery.
11. Ensure Any Financing Arrangement Will Be Affordable
On 1 October, 2016 new medical regulations came into effect Australia-wide that prohibit any clinic from providing payment plans, referring to any financial institution or offering any type of financial advice.
Accordingly, we suggest to all patients requiring to finance all or part of their procedure to make their own enquiries through their personal bank or preferred financier.
12. Don’t choose where to have your breast surgery on price alone
Currently there is a wave of ‘cheap’ cosmetic breast surgery being marketed and performed in Australia causing us to regularly receive calls from desperate patients unhappy with their results from overseas or cut-price clinics in Australia. Unfortunately for these patients, they chose where to have their surgery purely on price and not on standards or surgeon-reputation. To make matters worse, most of these patients now don’t have the money to fix the problems! Our advice to patients has always been to always choose your surgeon on quality and reputation. Moreover, if you can’t afford to do it properly now, or can’t afford to borrow for it, put it off till you can!
Never choose on price alone. Cheap surgery can end up very expensive surgery if something goes wrong or the result is not as you had hoped!