How do I find a surgeon I can trust?
It’s important to consider the following when choosing your aesthetic plastic surgeon:
- Does the surgeon have the proper education, training, and certification?
- Does the surgeon have extensive experience with reconstructive breast surgery?
- Do you like their results (see before and after photos)?
- What is your comfort level with him or her?
- Are they a member of The Aesthetic Society?
Members of The Aesthetic Society have the education, experience, and certifications required to perform your aesthetic procedure, and many of our members specialize in breast reconstruction. Find a Surgeon Near You
After you find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area with extensive experience with breast reconstruction, you will need to set up your consultation. You will want to set up your consultation and discuss your cancer surgery with an aesthetic plastic surgeon before undergoing mastectomy.
What can I expect during a consultation?
Generally, because of the in-depth nature of the consultation, there is usually a cost associated with the initial visit.
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your aesthetic goals. Your surgeon will evaluate whether you are a good candidate for a breast reconstruction and clarify what reconstructive breast surgery options are available to you, and the types of results you can expect.
Your surgeon will examine, measure, and photograph your breasts for your medical record and will consider:
- The current size and shape of your breasts
- The breast size and shape that you desire
- The quality and quantity of your breast tissue
- The quality of your skin
- The placement of your nipples and areolas
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your complete medical history, such as your:
- Details around your upcoming cancer surgery
- Previous surgeries
- Past and present medical conditions
- Allergies and current medications
- Medical treatments you have received
- Current mammogram results
- Your history of smoking, steroid use, or other factors that may influence healing
Once your surgeon understands your goals and medical condition, your surgeon may recommend alternative and additional treatments (see related procedures).
What questions should I ask my aesthetic plastic surgeon about my breast reconstruction?
It’s important that you take an active role in your surgery, so please use this list of questions as a starting point for your initial consultation.
- Am I a good candidate for breast reconstruction?
- Are the results I am seeking reasonable and realistic?
- Do you have before and after photos of breast reconstruction procedures that I can see?
- How many reconstructive breast surgeries have you performed?
- Where will you perform my breast reconstruction, and how long will it take?
- Will I have any scars, and will they be visible?
- What kind of anesthesia do you recommend for me?
- What will be the costs associated with my breast reconstruction?
- What will you expect of me to get the best results?
- What kind of recovery period can I expect, and when can I resume normal activities?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- What are my options if the outcome of my breast reconstruction does not meet the goals we agreed on?
What happens after the consultation?
Based on your goals, physical characteristics, and your surgeon’s training and experience, your aesthetic plastic surgeon will share recommendations and information with you, which may include:
- An approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure and combination of procedures
- The outcomes you can anticipate
- The financial investment required for the procedure
- Associated risks and complications
- Options for anesthesia and surgery location
- What you need to prepare for your surgery
- What you can expect to experience during and after surgery
- Before and after photos of cases similar to yours
- Computer imaging to show you the improvements you can expect
- Answers to any of your questions
Once you’ve done your research and completed your consultation, you should be able to make an educated decision on whether breast reconstruction is right for you and whether a surgeon is a good fit. If you still aren’t sure how to proceed, you should feel empowered to ask follow-up questions or set up a consultation with a different surgeon. You can also ask one of our board-certified aesthetic plastic surgeons a question using our Ask a Surgeon feature.