Preparing for Plastic Surgery: Questions You Should Be Ready to Answer

by | Dec 12, 2018 | Plastic Surgeon Feature

If you have ever searched online for “plastic surgeons near me,” you have likely seen articles with lists of suggestions for plastic surgery preparation. It is important to go into your initial appointment fully prepared, and there are several questions your surgeon is prepared to ask you. Dr. Sophie Bartsich, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, is an expert in the field of breast surgery who wrote “What The Doc Should Ask You During A Breast Augmentation Consultation” to help patients understand what should happen during a thorough consultation. With your honest answers to these questions, your plastic surgeon will have a greater chance of success when it comes to your functional and cosmetic outcomes.

What are Your Exercise Habits Like?  

Many breast augmentation patients are physically fit and like to stick to a regular fitness routine. Oftentimes this includes rigorous chest exercises and workouts that involve upper body strength. Dr. Bartsich says it is important to let your doctor know about your exercise habits. She says, “Breast augmentation usually involves placing an implant either above or below the muscle layer, therefore physical activity is extremely relevant to recovery and postoperative lifestyle.” Patients that have the breast implant placed under the chest muscle are especially affected by upper body exercises. In your search for “plastic surgeons near me,” be sure to include those who can help you determine the right placement for your implants based on your lifestyle and overall goals.

During plastic surgery, space has to be made for a breast implant that is being inserted under the chest muscle. Part of that muscle is cut, but the majority of it is left alone, allowing it to continue to function and contract during your workout. Dr. Bartsich describes the movement or “animation” that can happen during chest exercises with implants under the muscles: “Implant animation can look a little strange, but more importantly, it can feel awkward. For patients who are slim and have little native breast tissue, and for those who regularly perform strenuous exercise, sub-pectoral augmentation may be more challenging long-term.”  

What Do You Do at Work and How Much Time Can You Take Off?

Every breast augmentation patient needs to know their approximate timetable for recovery after the operation. Our bodies respond differently to plastic surgery and pain tolerances can vary widely, so there is no single answer that is right for everyone. Dr. Bartsich says, “For patients undergoing sub-pectoral augmentation, the recovery period can last much longer. Pain levels alone are far greater with this approach, and it can take several months for something like a pushup to feel comfortable.”

Your list of “plastic surgeons near me” to consider should include doctors who know to ask you about your line of work. Women with jobs that are done mostly at a computer or desk have the potential to return to work in about a week. If your work requires more heavy lifting or physical strength, you should plan to take three to even six weeks before getting back to work. It may seem like a long time, but Dr. Bartsich says the upper body simply will not be ready for exertion until it is completely healed.   

How Well Do You Tolerate Pain?

Many patients are concerned about the pain they might experience after breast augmentation. Any type of plastic surgery will cause a certain amount of discomfort or pain, but knowing what to expect can help ease your mind. On the first day following your breast augmentation procedure, the area of your incision may feel achy and you may experience symptoms as the anesthesia wears off. The ache of your incision may develop into more of a slight burning sensation on the second day. After this, the discomfort of the incision should fade away. Unless pressure is placed on your breasts, their discomfort should be limited to a dull ache.

If your breast implants were placed under the muscle, the pain can be deeper and last longer. Dr. Bartsich says, “In order to make space for the implant, the muscle needs to stretch, both during the surgery and slowly over time afterwards. This causes significant pain, more than many patients realize.” The chest muscles contain more blood vessels and nerves than breast tissue, which makes for a more painful and longer recovery than if your implants are placed over the chest muscles.

Do You Care for Small Children or Pets?   

As you feel the excitement about your procedure while you search online for “plastic surgeons near me,” don’t overlook your other responsibilities. If you have a small child or a fur baby in your home, it will be especially important to consider who will help you care for them after your plastic surgery. It is not hard to remember to refrain from working out or heavy lifting after breast augmentation, but taking care of children or pets can be just as tough on your recovering body. Lifting anything over 15 pounds is not advisable. Dr. Bartsich tells her patients with children and pets, “The bad news is that these limitations are real and sometimes do last several weeks. The good news is that there are lots of ways to work around the no picking up rule, and baby or puppy snuggling need not be compromised to do so.”

What Herbal and Homeopathic Medicines Do You Use?

You can expect your surgeon to ask you about any prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs you currently use. It is very important that you also include any other supplement or herbal remedy you take. These medicines can have serious effects on your surgery and even cause certain complications such as bleeding, clotting, or interference with anesthesia. All of these problems are avoidable if you tell your doctor in the first place exactly what you are taking. Dr. Bartsich stresses the importance of full disclosure: “Always be sure to mention any and all pills, powders, and potions that you use in addition to your regular diet, just to be sure that none of them are at high risk of complicating your surgery. Avoiding those problems can be as simple as stopping those products a few weeks before your operation.”

Do You Have a History of Scar Complication?

Part of your final plastic surgery result is the healing of your incision. Your ultimate scarring, or lack thereof, is greatly influenced by genetics. One type of scar complication that some patients have developed is a keloid, or a thick growth of scar tissue. Patients who have previously had a keloid are more likely to develop one again. Dr. Bartsich says it is important to tell the surgeon you choose from your list of “plastic surgeons near me” about your history with scarring so the right choices can be made to give you the best results.

In her article “What The Doc Should Ask You During A Breast Augmentation Consultation,” Dr. Sophie Bartsich discusses the important information your surgeon needs from you to give you the greatest likelihood of surgical success. Be sure your search for “plastic surgeons near me” gives you results that include doctors who have your best interests at heart and who ask these questions during your consultation.      

IDEAL IMPLANT ® Structured Breast Implants With Dr. Bartsich

Considering breast implants in New York City? Contact Dr. Sophie Bartsich today to discuss your options. Simply call 212-717-9200, or visit Dr. Bartsich’s office is located at 960 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10028. Call today for more information on IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants.