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 about these stories because we receive calls every 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 with low prices instead of high standards. 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!
Breast Augmentation Checklist:
1. Research the Doctor’s qualifications, reputation and experience specifically in Breast Augmentation.
Don’t just choose a doctor 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 top doctors 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 doctor has and how long they have been performing Breast Augmentation.
There are so many places to look for reviews online these days, you can be sure to find testimonials and reviews about every doctor you’re considering. Testimonials are not allowed on doctor’s websites anymore, so you’ll need to look for patient reviews on Google and other online forums.
Realistically, every doctor is likely to have the occasional negative review because some people write unfairly critical reviews when there was no justification so, read online reviews with an open mind– what were the major issues that reviewers have had with a doctor or clinic? Is it a recurring fundamental problem, or just a matter of a personality clash or something of the sort? We are proud that our patients have given us a 5-star rating on Google!
2. Look for ‘Before & After’ photos of Breast Augmentations by the doctor(s) you’re considering
Nothing can demonstrate a doctor’s ability more than their ‘Before & After photos. If the doctor you are interested in doesn’t have any or many to show, then keep looking! You don’t want to be dealing with a doctor who can’t demonstrate their experience. And look for photos that show the type of look you’re after. If they don’t have the look 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 doctor and then book a consultation
Quality clinics will book you in for at least one long consultation – 1 or 2 hours – and hopefully with the doctor who’ll be performing your surgery. In fact, your doctor should be doing your ENTIRE consultation, not just part of it! Cheaper clinics sometimes save money here by using a nurse for most of the consultation with only a brief ‘look in’ bu the doctor. Avoid clinics that tell you that “you don’t need to talk to the doctor until you are ready to proceed”, or give you a rushed, sales-pitch-heavy consultation!
4. Choose the implants that will best give you the ‘look’ you’re after from a RANGE of different implants actually shown to you.
Make sure your doctor has the very implant shapes and sizes that suit your measurements so you can insert them into a ‘crop top’ and compare them in a mirror. Silicone implants come with Smooth and Textured surfaces in various shapes and sizes to suit everyone’s needs and tastes. Your doctor should be able to walk you through all your implant options and help you make a well-informed choice. 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 location and implant placement according to the Pros and Cons explained by your doctor.
There are four different incision points and four different implant positions to choose from. Your doctor should explain the pros and cons of each approach to you at your Consultation.
If your doctor 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 with the Pros and Cons of the different Incision Locations 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!
Your doctor should have samples of ALL the implants 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 make your final choice. 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 put you off to sleep! They are also experts in knowing what to do if anything unexpectedly goes wrong during the anaesthesia. It doesn’t happen very often, but such situations are difficult to predict and can be life-threatening. As your safety is always our prime consideration, we always have a Specialist Anaesthetist in constant attendance throughout your entire procedure.
8. Anaesthesia: ‘Twilight Anaesthesia’ (sometimes called Sedation Anaesthesia) or General Anaesthesia?
General Anaesthesia renders you unconscious for the entire duration of the procedure. Twilight Sedation keeps you somewhat awake and able to respond, but in order to stop you from wriggling around from pain, high doses of local anaesthetic 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, we have always recommended only General Anaesthesia for Breast Surgery and are proud of our unblemished safety record in this regard!
9. Allow yourself time to properly digest and consider all the information received before embarking on surgery.
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 all the facts involved as well as understand them. 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 anaesthesia and 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 you have chosen? 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 doctor 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 Regulations came into effect Australia-wide that prohibit any cosmetic surgery clinic from providing payment plans, referring to any financial institution, or offering any type of financial advice.
Accordingly, we suggest to all patients wishing to finance all or part of their procedure, to make their own enquiries through their own bank or preferred loan provider.
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 patients desperately 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 doctor-reputation. To make matters worse, most of those patients now don’t have the money to fix the problems! So, our advice to patients has always been to always choose your doctor on quality and reputation, not price! 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!