I see a lot of breast augmentation patients here in Albany, NY, and nearly everyone considering the procedure wants to know exactly what to expect. For those who are thinking about breast augmentation, this step-by-step guide walks through the entire process, from your initial phone call to the follow-up appointments after surgery.
Before The Consultation
Your first point of contact will be a phone call with Liz, my personal patient care coordinator. She’ll answer any initial questions you might have and help schedule your appointment. We’re very flexible, and I’m happy to work after-hours to accommodate my patients’ needs, if necessary.
During this call, Liz will go over a few items to help prepare for your first visit, including new patient forms, which can be accessed online. You can fill everything out ahead of time, but it’s perfectly fine to do it in person when you arrive.
She’ll also remind you to bring any before-and-afters you like, photos of celebrities — anything that helps us visualize your desired outcome. Be sure to write down any questions you have, as well, so you don’t forget those “must-ask” questions when you’re in the exam room.
Consultation and Pre-Op
We pride ourselves on efficiency, so you won’t be in the waiting room long. Once your in the exam room, we’ll have an open conversation. I’ll answer any initial questions you have and discuss what you really want to get out of the procedure. Whether you’re looking for a subtle or a dramatic change, it’s important that I understand what your expectations are. We’ll also look at the photos you’ve brought to the appointment and discuss how we can take aspects of what you like and adjust it to your specific frame and proportions.
I’ll then perform a thorough physical examination to evaluate the present size, shape, and condition of your breasts, paying special attention to factors such as skin quality and nipple position. At this point, I’ll also take measurements and photos, which are kept confidential in your file. If you decide to have surgery with me, these will become the “before” photos that help me plan your procedure.
Next up is implant sizing. This the fun part: Patients love “trying on” various surgical options to see how they’d look. We will bring in our famous “sizing cart,” leave the room, and let you choose the sizer you think is best. Once you’re ready, I’ll come back into the room to discuss your selection further. It’s not uncommon for a patient to have a difficult time choosing the right size, so I’m always happy to supplement your thoughts with my recommendations. If you simply can’t decide, that’s OK, too: We can order multiple sizes for surgery day and decide later.
After Your Consultation
Once we’ve had a chance to talk through everything, you will meet with Liz to discuss financing options and other logistical considerations. We know you have a lot of decisions to make after your consultation, so we will work with you to determine a date that will work best as well as what you should expect after surgery. The turnaround from consultation to scheduled surgery is typically about a month, but we’ve had patients schedule their surgery much sooner or much later than that.
If you’re not ready to schedule your date, that’s OK. We encourage you to discuss the timing with your loved ones, consider how much time you’ll need to take off from work, and when you’re ready to commit to a date, we’ll be happy to schedule it for you.
Leading up to Surgery Day
One to two weeks before your surgery, a nurse will call and go over any health issues, review your history of any previous surgeries, and ask about what medications you are currently taking. The purpose of this is to make sure you’ll know exactly what to expect on the day of surgery — and crucially, that you’ll know when to stop taking your medications. Some patients may require additional testing before surgery. These tests will be determined during that phone call as well.
The day before surgery, Liz will call to confirm everything and to schedule your post-op appointment. We do this so that you’ll go into the procedure with everything being taken care of ahead of time. Most patients are surprised to learn that they won’t know the specific time of surgery until the day before (as this is determined by the surgical center), so it’s important to leave the day wide open.
The day of surgery can bring many emotions, and it’s OK to feel nervous, anxious, happy, excited, or all of the above. I encourage patients to share their feelings with me before the procedure. If you have specific concerns, I can address them and ease your mind before we administer the anesthetic. And if you’re just generally anxious, my team and I are great at offering comfort and support.
You’ll be in and out of the surgery in about an hour, and as with any procedure, you’ll likely be tired and sore immediately afterward. This shouldn’t last more than a few days, and it’s easily controlled with pain medication.
Recovery, Post-Op, and Beyond
The day after surgery, we tell our patients to shower (trust me, you’ll feel much better after you do). Remember to take your surgical bra and strap off, but put it back on immediately once you dry off. You’ll keep wearing it for about a week.
A week after your surgery, we’ll see you for your first post-op appointment. Our nurse will take out your stitches; your steri-strips, however, will stay on the incisions until they fall off. It’s likely we’ll have you switch to wearing a sports bra at that appointment for the following month – but regardless, absolutely no underwire.
Eight weeks later, we’ll see you back again for your second post-op. During this appointment, we’ll look at your results and take after photos. Patients often say this is the most fun part of the process. Your scars will have started to fade and will continue to soften over the next several months.
Even though this is your last scheduled post-op appointment, our team is always a phone call or email away. Whether it’s 5 days or 5 years down the road, we are always happy to answer questions or address any concerns you might have.
The entire process takes just a few months, but we consider you a patient for life.
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