What to Expect During a Breast Surgery Consultation
Click on the following links to jump to the relevant section:
- Preparing for the consultation
- Meeting the breast surgeon
- Questions to ask during the consultation
- Thinking through the information you have received
During a breast surgery consultation, it is vital that you have the correct information on hand so the surgeon can make a full and clear assessment of your cosmetic needs and medical health requirements. It is also important to ask the surgeon any questions that may be on your mind, be they regarding the logistics of the operation or the surgeon’s competencies.
The following content outlines many questions that are important to ask during such a consultation. To find out how to check the credentials of a prospective surgeon and information on what you need to know before arranging a consultation, read How to Pick a Trusted Cosmetic Surgeon.
Preparing for the consultation
Consultations can be as quick as 15 minutes or they might be over an hour long. It is important that you direct your full concentration towards the meeting, so make sure you have:
- Cleared your schedule
- Arranged for transport to and from the clinic
There can be a lot of information to process during a consultation and some people are happier when they bring along someone else for support. This is usually either a trusted friend or a member or the family. Anyone under the age of 18 must always be accompanied by a parent or guardian. It is best if the person you bring along for support is also the person who will be looking after you following surgery.
Supplying your medical history
You will be required to relate you medical history at some point during the appointment. This may be either as part of a form handed to you by the receptionist, during your conservation with the surgeon, or both.
Remember to think about any relevant information before you go for the consultation. If it aids your memory, make a record the night before and take it with you to the consultation. The surgeon will have access to your GP notes before the treatment, but they will usually want to discuss existing conditions with you in person beforehand.
Meeting the cosmetic surgeon
First impressions do last, so it is important that the surgeon matches your expectations of professionalism and high standards; it will help you to trust them further down the line.
It is important that you trust the person who will be performing your surgery. You will be spending a lot of time in their company and relying on their judgement. Tensions between you and the surgeon can make the process uncomfortable and lead to worse results.
If you have followed the advice of our section titled How to Pick a Trusted Cosmetic Surgeon, you will already know the training, experience and qualifications of the surgeon. However, a consultation is the perfect opportunity to ask the surgeon about their background and training in order to judge their level of competence and experience.
A good way to gauge the quality of a surgeon’s work is to read testimonials from previous patients. The more testimonials they can produce, the more likely it is that their customers have had positive experiences; if they can only offer one or two testimonials, there is a chance that those have been cherry-picked from feedback of varying quality.
Questions to ask during the consultation
The consultation is your chance to talk to the surgeon about the results you desire. They will also ask you questions in order to assess the type of surgery you are looking for.
Important topics to cover include:
- Your expectations. It is best to outline as clearly as possible the results you desire in order for the surgeon to assess if these are realistic and achievable.
- Possible procedures. Try to be flexible about the types of procedure on offer. You may find that the one you have in mind is not necessarily the best option to achieve your goals.
- Where the surgery will be performed. Will you’re your operation be carried out on the premises or somewhere else? Keep in mind that you may need to return a number of times for follow-up appointments while you heal.
- Find out what type of anaesthetic you will be having and who the anaesthetist will be. It is normal to meet anaesthetist prior to your procedure. You may also wish to ask about their qualifications and experience.
- Will you be required to stay overnight? This is important as you will need to ascertain who will be looking after you during your stay.
- It is likely that there will be some level of aftercare. The aftercare procedures that you may be required to perform following surgery can affect the result of the operation and the speed with which you heal. This knowledge will also let you plan your post-surgery calendar.
- Procedure costs. This should include whether there is a fee for the initial consultation?
Here are some other questions you may wish to ask during the consultation:
- What will the consultation process entail?
- Will I need to take pain killers after the procedure, and if so, what kind?
- Are there any risks involved with the surgery?
- How long will the procedure take?
- How long will it take to recover from the operation?
- What should I do if the results are not what I expected?
Thinking through the information you have received
You will come away from the consultation with a lot of information. It is important that you carefully consider what you have been told before making a decision.
Do not be afraid to book a follow-up consultation if you have more questions about the procedures that were explained. It is important that you are confident about the process before going ahead.
You should also feel no obligation to go ahead with a procedure following a consultation.
It is important that you don’t continue with your procedure if you have any nagging concerns. A reputable clinic will be happy to get to the bottom of any issues that you have so that you are as relaxed as possible going into your procedure.
If any of the following are true, you should take some time and consider your options before going ahead with the procedure:
- All your concerns have not been suitably addressed.
- You do not feel at ease with your practitioner.
- You do not fully understand the nature of the procedure or how it will affect you in the days following surgery.
- You feel rushed into making a decision.