Your Initial Consultation: the Implant Discussion

Getting started on your breast augmentation journey can be confusing.  Besides finding an experienced surgeon, it can be hard to know where to begin. Most feel a sense of pressure to figure everything out beforehand, even before being evaluated. Which breast implant do I need? What is the best surgical approach? Saline or silicone? Do I want a more or less projecting implant?  Although important, these decisions come later in the process. Taking time to think about your aesthetic goals first is the most important factor. Bigger? Lifted? More Projection? Better shape? Fuller? We offer many ways to improve your breast appearance, so thinking about them from your POV can make your consultation much more constructive. To help you sort through the options before coming into our office, take a look at this Q and A with Dr. Martin. In it, he discusses what you should and shouldn’t know before your first consultation and the process to select your perfect implant.

Question: As a board-certified plastic surgeon who has performed hundreds of breast augmentations, what would you say to patients who feel overwhelmed about selecting their perfect implant before their consultation?

Dr. Martin: I completely understand the instinct to have your implant details locked in before your first appointment. However, the best way to pick a breast implant for your surgery is through a collaborative process, and this includes your surgeon. There are so many factors that I consider when selecting the perfect implant for my patients. Your anatomy, tissue quality, health history, and aesthetic goals, to name a few.  Scoping in the specifics of an implant you want, including shape and size, is good for discussion purposes but isn’t always helpful during the first evaluation. That decision is made further down the line.

Question: Take a moment and walk us through what you can expect at your first breast augmentation consultation in your office.

Dr. Martin: In this first meeting, we focus on getting to know you and your goals. We have an open and supportive discussion on what you envision for your breasts and what I see from your exam. We will also educate you on all your surgical options. However, we avoid hard numbers at this point. Together, we’ll decide what type of implant suits your body proportions and frame. There’s no need to feel pressure about selecting the exact dimensions or sizes during the initial consultation.  We will leave it a little open-ended.

Question: What if a patient is adamant that she MUST have a specific implant?  For example, what if they want the same implant as their friend got with their surgery? 

Dr. Martin: If someone feels strongly about shape and size, that’s okay.  I like those discussions.  It gives me a starting point to educate them on their anatomy while incorporating their aesthetic goals into this discussion. Interestingly, breast implant dimensions don’t easily translate to a desired outcome.  For example, breast implants are categorized by their volume (cc), not cup size, which is industry-specific.  But implant volume does not correlate well with your cup size.  And cup size is how most women think about their breasts. Cup sizes vary so much from person to person, it makes it nearly impossible to pair that up with a specific implant volume. For example, if you take two women with similar cup sizes and place the same implant, the outcomes are often drastically different depending on their breast and chest anatomy. It is not a stretch, in this scenario, that one woman could end up with a C cup and the other could end up with a D cup just because their chest and breast anatomy differs. Therefore, my goal is for our patients to understand and ultimately trust the selection process. Taking the time to work through this decision is critical.  

Question: When DO you help patients select their final implant size?
Dr. Martin: During surgery pre-operative appointment we zero in on the implant dimensions that are optimized for your body. This is a multi-step process that uses photographic comparisons with similar body type patients, real comparisons with different implants placed in your bra, and even other types of imaging. We have a lot of resources on my website that go into this further.  But just know that we spend a lot of time with you at that appointment making sure that this selection is 100% correct.

before after

Your consultation is just around the corner 

Think about what you want for your breasts instead of fixating on implant shapes and sizes. Imagine the best version of yourself. Our process of selecting a breast implant is comprehensive so you can relax! With our help, we will select the perfect implant for you.  See you at your consultation!