While fall and winter are our most popular times for breast augmentation surgery here in Columbia, many patients begin researching the procedure in the spring. That might seem like a rather long planning period, but there’s a lot to think about: scheduling, finances, finding a surgeon, and much more. There’s so much, in fact, that it can feel overwhelming.
Where to begin? Here are a few ways to focus your research, so that you’re better equipped to make the best decision when you’re ready for surgery.
Start With Implant, Incision & Placement Options
The simplest place to start when thinking about breast enhancement surgery is to get a solid grasp of how you would like the procedure to go. Here are your options:
- Implants can be saline or silicone. Both have met the rigorous standards set by the FDA for medical devices and are completely safe. Which material is best for you ultimately depends on your breasts’ natural shape and your goals. Implants also come in round and teardrop shapes.
- Incisions are commonly made in 1 of 3 places: around the areola (periareolar), along the crease beneath the breast (inframammary), or in the underarm area (axillary). Each has certain advantages and disadvantages, particularly with scarring.
- Placement is a choice between subglandular (i.e., behind the breast tissue but in front of the chest muscle) or submuscular (i.e., behind both the breast tissue and the muscle). Here again, your breasts’ natural shape may help guide your decision.
Researching each of these factors is a good way to start working out your priorities.
Find a Matching Surgeon
Once you feel well-informed about the details of your surgery, it’s time to find a surgeon — ideally, someone who feels comfortable with your desired incision technique and implant placement. Most surgeons are very forthcoming about the techniques they prefer and are glad to make recommendations for you based on your body type
What’s equally important, if not more so, is to make sure your surgeon is a good fit for you. Credentials are non-negotiable: Make sure your surgeon is a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Next, take a look at any available before-and-after photo galleries for patients who have undergone a procedure comparable to what you want.
Beyond that, if you have a positive impression after reading his or her website, schedule a consultation to get to know the surgeon in person. That first contact is often the best indicator of whether you will have a good experience.
Think Through the Details
Round out your preparation by tying up the loose ends before scheduling your surgery date. Look into financing options such as CareCredit® that can help you develop a payment plan. Ask a close friend or family member to set aside some time on the day of your procedure and the days immediately following to help you transition to recovery. Coordinate time off with your employer to make sure you’ll have adequate time to rest. Read through any pre- and postoperative care instructions your surgeon provides.
Ultimately, the more you do to prepare, the more at ease you’ll feel through the whole process. And that’s exactly how you deserve to feel.