When you’re considering changing any aspect of your appearance through cosmetic surgery, you have many crucial decisions to make. That fact is especially true if you’re looking to get a breast enhancement, because of the cultural association between breasts and feminine beauty.
If you’ve already started doing your research on breast augmentation, you’re probably well aware that your first step is to narrow down a list of board-certified surgeons near you. Next, you will need to make consultation appointments with several different doctors to help you find a surgeon you trust. Be sure to go to these appointments with a list of questions to ask, one of which should be a request to see a before-and-after photo gallery of previous breast augmentation patients. As you review these photos, here are some things to look for.
1. The Doctor’s Aesthetic Philosophy
Most cosmetic surgeons will tell you they strive for natural-looking results, but if you and the doctor aren’t on the same page about what “natural” means, you could end up dissatisfied with your breast surgery. Today, many women are opting for a subtle size increase, as opposed to a bustline that appears overinflated. Pay attention to how the “after” photos look. Do you see a lot of patients who appear to have gone up by several cup sizes in one surgery? If that’s not your goal, you may want to keep looking.
2. Patients Who Look Like You
To get a clearer idea of what you can expect, focus on patients who are about the same age and body type as you. For example, if you are tall and broad-shouldered, your enhanced breasts will not look the same as a woman who is small-boned and petite.
Also, ask the surgeon to provide photos of patients who have gotten the same size, shape, and type of breast implants you are considering. If you have decided to have teardrop-shaped implants, and you’re looking at a collection of photos of women with round implants, it will be more difficult for you to form realistic expectations about your results.
3. Consistency of Photography
Scrutinize each set of photos to see if elements such as the lighting, distance from the camera, and the patient’s posture look uniform in both pictures. For instance, if a patient is standing with slumped shoulders in the “before” photo, but they have excellent posture with their shoulders pulled back in the “after” photo, it will affect the perkiness of their breasts. Also, ask if the doctor has taken pictures from multiple angles. If so, request to see them all.
4. Visible Scarring
It’s natural to expect some amount of scarring after breast augmentation surgery, since inserting the implants requires the surgeon to make incisions. However, experienced breast augmentation surgeons will not make these incisions any larger than they have to be. They’ll also take care to place the incisions in areas where they’ll heal as discreetly as possible, such as in the darker skin of your areolas or the natural creases underneath each breast.
5. Uniform Results
One final thing to keep in mind as you’re reviewing a potential surgeon’s before-and-after gallery is their ability to provide consistent results with breast augmentation surgery. If you see any women whose “after” photos show irregularities or uneven breasts, that might indicate a physician with less experience or training.
Breast Augmentation by Dr. Eric Desman
At the Virginia Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Eric Desman’s goal is to help women feel great in their bodies with excellent breast implant outcomes. He remains committed to providing the highest possible levels of patient safety and comfort with every procedure he performs. We serve all of Northern Virginia, including the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Contact us to learn more or schedule a consultation.