Breast augmentation is the most cosmetic surgical procedure in America. Based on data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 300,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in 2018.
According to SBS, half a million cosmetic procedures were carried out in 2017 in Australia. This includes 20,000 breast augmentations, 30,000 liposuction procedures, and $350m dollar’s worth of Botox injections. Per capita, Australians are outspending America. The subtropical climate and proximity of key metropolitan areas is a likely explanation as to why breast augmentations are so popular in Australia.
If you are considering breast augmentation, you should be aware that there are certain risks involved with the procedure. These include infection, scarring, implant leakage, bleeding, anesthesia risks, skin wrinkling over the implant, and persistent pain.
Due to these complications, you should ask your practitioner these 6 following questions:
1. Where will the procedure take place?
The location of the operation is an important factor to note. It not only helps you to plan for travel but also to be conscious of what to expect. Cosmetic surgeons can carry the breast implants in a hospital, day clinic, or in some cases, surgeon’s office or premises.
Hospital and day clinics are safer than the office or premises. There have also been increasing case of women in Australia who suffer severe complications from premises operations. These include cardiac arrests and in some cases, death. Office operations are also quite risky as no qualifications are required for a medical practitioner to carry out the process. It’s therefore recommended to opt for hospital or clinic operations.
2. Is the anesthetist qualified and/or registered?
When discussing with your cosmetic clinic, you should inquire for the anesthetist. The anesthetist should be qualified and recognized under the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). He/she should also have medical degrees that prove his qualification as a general anesthetist.
3. Will I need time off work?
General breast implants require you to take a week break before resuming operations. Some will also require more time if your work involves heavy lifting or repetitive arm movements. Your consultant will indicate the time frame for the operation. After the consultation, you should negotiate with your employer for time-off. Avoid intense physical activities or those who may “bounce” your breasts during the first month of post-surgery.
4. Who will be looking after me during the surgery?
Most breast implants providers require you to indicate your preferred person who will look after you. For hospitals and day clinics, you can liaise with the hospital to allow someone to look at you in post-surgery. For in-premises surgery, you should discuss with your medical practitioner on who you prefer to look after you. For example, Dr. David Topchian from Melbourne’s Victorian Cosmetic Institute has performed over 1,000 breast implant operations across his 15 years of experience.
5. Can I see some before and after photos?
In Australia, most practitioners who offer breast implant services have before and after photos of their clients. Quite often, these galleries are available online. You can ask for these photos and look at different breast implant techniques and incision sites. The pictures will help you make the best decision on whether the process is suitable for you. It will also assist you in understanding the implications and possible outcomes of the operation. However, some providers may provide unrealistic photos, and it is vital to check the reliability and accuracy of these photographs.
6. What is the best incision site for me?
Currently, there are four standard breast implant incision sites:
- Axillary (around armpit)
- Periumbilical (belly button)
- Periareolar (around the areola)
- Inframammary fold
Discuss with your plastic or cosmetic surgeon on the four types to determine the most suitable one for you.
Breast Implants is on the rise in Australia, and so are the risks and complications. Therefore, before you go under the knife, do your homework to ensure that you have a speedy recovery.