Breast surgery is a very personal and oftentimes taxing experience even when it’s elective. Whether you are receiving breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast reconstruction, it’s critical that you have a clear understanding of the procedure. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I always encourage my patients to ask as many questions as they like, and to return for a second conversation if need be after the initial consultation. Sometimes patients come armed with a long list of questions; all too often, however, patients arrive without having carefully thought about the information they will need to make an educated decision.
Below, I’ve put together a list of questions to help my breast surgery patients have a productive and informative consultation. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. Use it as a starting point to help you brainstorm other questions and start thinking about what you personally want to get out of your breast surgery.
- What are my breast surgery options? Not every technique or procedure is right for every patient. Using your medical history, physical state, and personal preferences, I can help you make a decision. I will also explain the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure.
- What are the possible complications for breast surgery? While serious complications resulting from breast surgery are unlikely, as with any surgical procedure, there are no guarantees.
- What can I realistically expect from my surgery? I am glad to provide before-and-after photographs of patients who underwent the surgery you are considering. Remember, though, that no two patients are alike.
- Will I have to make permanent lifestyle changes after my breast surgery? In most (but not all) cases, patients are able to return to their regular activities within a few months. Please ask if there is a specific activity you are curious about.
- How will my breasts feel after surgery? It depends on the material (your own fat or tissue, or breast implants) you plan to use and whether you have breast reconstruction surgery. I am happy to share my opinion and experiences, if you wish, to help you make a decision.
- What is recovery like? Your breasts will be bandaged immediately after surgery. You will need to take it easy for three to four days; high-impact activities like jogging are strongly discouraged. I may prescribe pain medication for you. When you are ready to go home, we will set up a date for your follow-up appointment.
The answers I’ve provided here are abbreviated versions of what you can expect to hear when you visit my office for a consultation. I hope that you use this list to come up with your own questions and to more thoroughly explore your needs and preferences when it comes to your breast surgery. If you are ready to schedule a consultation, please contact my office today. Be sure also to follow me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for important breast surgery news and information.