What questions should I ask my breast reduction surgeon at the consultation?

The number of people choosing to have cosmetic surgery is on the increase. It has become a lot more popular and for many, is seen as an essential part of their lives.

Whatever your reasons your aim is to be fully informed about whether to have surgery or not. It is a serious undertaking and one that impacts upon your life in a big way. The main part is finding a surgeon and once you have the details of two to three surgeons you will then want to meet with each in turn.

You can have a short email or telephone conversation with a surgeon which will be free, but you will be charged a fee at the actual consultation itself. There are clinics who will offer a free consultation but there may be hidden costs in there somewhere.

You want to know who is going to be performing the surgery, how experienced they are and what type of care will you receive.

At the consultation itself, ask your surgeon the following questions:

  • How many years have you been doing this type of surgery?
  • Do you perform other types of surgery or do you specialise in this only?
  • How many procedures have you performed?
  • Are you a member of a professional organisation such as BAAPS or BAPRAS?
  • Do you currently hold an NHS consultant position or have you held one?
  • What are your success rates for this surgery?
  • Will I need a general anaesthetic?
  • What are the risks with this surgery? What is the chance of me experiencing these?
  • What can I expect from this surgery?
  • What do I need to do before surgery?
  • How long do I have to stay in hospital/the clinic?
  • How long is the recovery likely to take?
  • Am I going to experience a great deal of pain afterwards? What about bruising and swelling?
  • Will there be much scarring?
  • If I have any complications afterwards can I contact you?
  • Can I talk to any of your former patients?
  • Is there any reading material that you recommend? Do you have any that I can look at?
  • How much time do I need to take off work?
  • What aftercare is provided?
  • How long do I have to wait before I can go back to the gym/playing sport/other physical activities?
  • When do I have my first follow up visit?
  • Do you have any ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs that I can look at?
  • What is included or excluded in the price of the surgery?

It is a good idea to write these down beforehand. It can be quite a stressful time and it is easy to forget what you had planned on asking.

Tick off each question as you ask it.

Ask as many questions as you need to. Do not feel rushed or under pressure to agree to surgery. Remember, only go ahead when YOU are ready and not before. If your surgeon appears to be avoiding certain questions or is less than helpful then look elsewhere.

You want someone who is courteous, sympathetic and professional. They should go through the procedure in detail with you, explaining fully, the risks as well as the benefits. They should NOT attempt to pressurise you into having surgery. If they feel that surgery is not an option then they should be able to suggest an alternative.

A good surgeon will be acting in your best interests and not his/her own. They will be concerned with your health and well being and with giving you the very best treatment they can. It must be about what is right for you. This must come before costs. If your surgeon starts suggesting other procedures to you or is keen for you to sign up then find another surgeon.

The decision to have surgery is down to you. You can always change your mind. Take your time before making a decision and make sure it is what you want.

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