Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ask The Expert - Breast Augmentation

Karen Horton, MD, MSc
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
California Pacific Medical Center

Dr. Karen Horton is one member of a unique all-woman Plastic Surgery practice in San Francisco. She specializes in breast reconstruction after cancer and cosmetic surgery for women.
She is one of very few Micro-surgeons performing state-of-the-art reconstructive techniques for the breast, including the DIEP flap, SIEA flap and TUG (inner thigh) free flap. Dr. Horton regularly performs “mommy makeover” surgery to rejuvenate the breasts and bodies of women who have completed childbearing.

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Question of the Week:

I’m considering breast implants. What should I look for (beyond board certification) in selecting my plastic surgeon?

Karen Horton, MD, MSc answered:

For any surgical procedure, you should do your homework!

This includes breast augmentation. Your Plastic Surgeon should be Board-Certified in Plastic Surgery. Remember that any surgery, cosmetic or not, is a major procedure!

Your Plastic Surgeon should get to know YOU. The doctor-patient relationship is very intimate, and your surgeon needs to know all about your past medical history, your home life, exercise schedule and your goals for surgery.

There should be a good “fit” in personality between you and your surgeon. If necessary, visit a number of doctors until you feel you have found the very best fit for you!

Ask to see before and after photographs, both of the very best results, and average results as well. Ask to see images of scars and make certain you understand what the healing period and expected down-time will be like.

Talk to other patients who have had the procedure you are thinking about. Your Plastic Surgeon can give you a list of names and phone numbers of their patients who have had surgery and who are willing to share their experiences – good, bad, and ugly – with you.

Aim to become an informed, educated and empowered patient, even before you have surgery! This will enable you to have the best possible outcome.