Botox, in 2012, was the leading minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, but Breast Augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S.
About 286,000 women last year underwent breast augmentation, and according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, new evidence exists that satisfaction rates among breast augmentation patients are high.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of ASPS, published a study in its May 2013 issue revealing that ninety-eight percent of women who underwent breast augmentation surgery said the surgery met or exceed expectations.
Researchers evaluated nearly 230 patients (average age of 34 who received mostly saline-filled implants) one month after surgery and subsequently over a five-year period. Each participant was asked about recovery, results, complication and psychological affects.
When asked about psychological affects, over ninety percent of the women studied had reported self-esteem improvement, and sixty-four percent said the surgery improved the quality of life. Plus, there was a significant drop in percentage of women who were self-conscious about their breasts after surgery. Down from 86 percent, only thirteen percent of patients felt self-conscious about their breasts.
“Eighty-five percent of women rated their new breast size ‘just right’. Thirteen percent would have preferred a larger size and less than two percent a smaller size.”
How to Meet or Exceed Expectations for Breast Augmentation Surgery:
Dr. Swanson, author of the journal’s article, wrote “This study is valuable in providing information from the patient’s perspective, not the surgeon’s.” He went on to write, “Patient satisfaction is the most important measure of surgical success.”
Communication is Key:
The Food and Drug Administration has published on their website questions to ask your surgeon. These questions, and the answers given by your doctor, shape your surgical expectations, and thus a more satisfying experience before and after.
About Your Surgeon:
- How many breast implant procedures do you do each year?
- What percentage of your practice is dedicated to breast augmentation? To breast reconstruction?
- What type of implants do you use? Saline or silicone? What is your experience with each?
- What is the most common complication you encounter with breast implant surgery?
- What is your rate of complications in general (capsule contracture, infection, etc.)?
- What is your reoperation rate?
- What is the most common type of reoperation you perform?
About Breast Implants and Expected Outcomes:
- What shape, size, and surface texture are you recommending for my implants?
- Why are you recommending one type of breast implant over another? Why do you recommend this one for me?
- How long will my breast implants last?
- What incision site and placement are you recommending for me?
- Do you have before and after photos I can look at for each procedure?
- What results are reasonable for me to expect?
- How will breast implants feel? Will they alter my breast skin or nipple sensation?
- What are the risks and complications associated with having breast implants?
- Can I still get breast implants for augmentation if I have a strong family history of breast cancer?
- How many additional operations on my breast implants can I expect to have over my lifetime?
- How will I be able to tell if my breast implant has ruptured or if there is a problem with my breast implants?
- How will my breasts look if I decide to have the implants removed and not replaced?
- How easy or difficult is it to remove the implants?
- How easy or difficult is it to increase the size of the implants after the breast implants have been placed?
- What can I expect my breasts to look like over time? What do I need to do to maintain them?
- What kind of additional follow-up will I need?
- What are the long term consequences of breast implants?
- What will my breasts look like after pregnancy? After breastfeeding?
- Will the breast implants affect my ability to breastfeed a baby?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of my breast implants?
- Can I still get mammograms with breast implants in place?
- Will the mammogram rupture my breast implant?
- What alternate procedures or products are available besides breast implants?
About the Breast Implant Operation:
- How long will I be in pain after the surgery?
- What is my expected recovery time?
- Will I need help at home for normal activities after the surgery and if so for about how long?
- How long do you expect my operation to take?
- What (if any) secondary procedures associated with my breast augmentation/breast reconstruction will be required?
- How likely is it that I will get an infection after the surgery?
- How much risk is there from the anesthesia?
- What can I do to minimize the risk of short-term and long-term complications?
- Where will my scar be?
The FDA also recommends, “When choosing a surgeon for a breast implant procedure, you may want to consider their years of experience, their board certification, their patient follow-up and your own comfort level with the surgeon.”