Searching for a surgeon

The success of a plastic surgery relies on many factors, but most of them stem from choosing the right surgeon. A surgeon’s skill in your chosen procedure, their ability to clearly explain the process, the way they help set your expectations and their attention to your safety and satisfaction are crucial to achieving your optimal outcome. Breast procedures like breast lifts require particular care and expertise on your surgeon’s part, as the breasts are a sensitive and visible area of your body. You will want your results to be symmetrical and proportionate to the rest of your body, and you don’t want to feel as though you can’t trust your surgeon to be attentive and respectful of your comfort and aesthetic goals. Choosing the right breast lift surgeon is the first step you should take when you consider a breast lift — this guide can help you learn what to look for and what questions to ask to make sure your surgeon is someone you can trust.

Find a Breast Lift Expert 

Plastic surgery is an incredibly broad category. There are cosmetic surgeries for all areas of the body; some as small-scale as a blepharoplasty for the eyelids, and some as extensive as full body lifts. It stands to reason that not all plastic surgeons are experienced in providing all plastic surgeries. Some surgeons have studied their whole lives to perfect their facial surgery techniques, while others are experts at sculpting the body into your ideal shape. When you consider a breast lift, you should, therefore, look for a surgeon with particular expertise in breast surgeries. Many surgeons will emphasize their expertise in a particular category of plastic surgery through informational materials like a website or advertisements, but you can also tell what kinds of surgeries they perform most frequently by looking for patient reviews or before-and-after galleries. These reviews and photos will show you whether the surgeon has a history of performing successful breast lifts, and will show you what you can expect your results to look like.

Additionally, you can ask questions like these during your consultation to determine your surgeon’s level of experience with breast lifts:

  • How many breast lift clients do you have each year?
  • What is your practice’s most common surgical procedure?
  • What other breast surgeries do you regularly perform?
  • When did you last perform a breast lift?

 Learn About Their Credentials

Choosing a breast lift surgeon with the right licensure and certification can help ensure that you are in good hands. When a surgeon has thorough and up-to-date credentials, it means they are held accountable to certain organizations to maintain the highest standards of patient safety and to stay abreast of the latest surgical techniques and requirements. Your surgeon should be a current, practicing physician who completed medical school and subsequently studied plastic surgery as a resident or fellow. She or he should be board-certified and licensed to practice in your country, province or state; and should perform surgeries out of a country, province or state-licensed surgical center. You should feel confident asking your surgeon about these credentials during your consultation — this meeting is not only your surgeon’s opportunity to find out about your needs and goals, but is also your chance to respectfully “interview” your surgeon to find out if they are the right fit for the job of your procedure.

Consider asking questions like these to learn more about your surgeon’s professional background: 

  • Where did you complete your medical degree?
  • Where did you complete your residency and fellowship?
  • What were the specialty(ies) you studied for your fellowship(s)?
  • When was the last time you participated in a lecture, conference or course about plastic surgery techniques or standards of safety?
  • Are you certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC) and/or the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Do you belong to any other professional organizations?
  • Where are you currently licensed to practice? 

Ask About Their Techniques 

Experienced plastic surgeons often develop their own particular approaches to certain procedures over the years. If your surgeon has performed many breast lifts over the course of their career, they should be able to explain the way in which they will perform your breast lift surgery with clarity and in detail. This should include an explanation of which breast lift approach they would use for your particular body type and why; where they will place your incisions; what timeline and methods they suggest for your recovery and aftercare; and what you can expect your results to look like based on these recommendations. You can also ask about broader techniques such as how often they usually meet with their patients before and after surgery, what kinds of materials they can supply for patient education and whether they are available if questions or concerns arise. Some questions you might ask could include:

  • What are the different types of breast lift, and which one is right for me?
  • What kind of anesthesia do you use for breast lift surgery?
  • Which type of breast lift do you most often perform and why?
  • Do you have any particular suggestions to keep your patients comfortable during recovery?
  • How many follow-up appointments do you usually recommend?
  • How long does it take for your average breast lift patient to be ready for “after” photos?

Ensure Clear Communication

Trusting your surgeon’s experience and expertise is one thing, but trusting them as a person is another. Your breasts are a very personal part of your body, and your surgeon should be someone who makes you feel comfortable, listened to, and empowered by your choice to have plastic surgery. As a surgeon, it is her or his job to help you make the best decisions for your health and your body. When you talk to your surgeon about your breast lift, you should never feel confused or unsure of your surgeon’s recommendations or methods. If you are struggling to understand the way your surgeon explains things, you should feel comfortable asking for clarification; if you do not feel as though their clarification is adequate, you should seek a consultation with a different provider. You should enter your surgery with complete confidence that you know what will be happening during your procedure and that you understand your possible outcomes. During your consultation, you can ask questions including: 

  • In your opinion, what makes me a good candidate for a breast lift?
  • How will my body change after the procedure?
  • Are there other possible procedures that could accomplish my goals?
  • What are the risks associated with breast lift surgery?
  • What percentage of your patients experience complications?
  • Who can I contact if I have questions or concerns?
  • What kinds of resources do you have for me to learn more about breast lift surgery?

At Banff Plastic Surgery, we want our patients to feel respected and empowered throughout their journey with us. We work hard to establish a friendly and trusting relationship with all of our clients by making sure they understand their procedures, their possible risks, and their projected outcomes. Our director, Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay, is an expert in breast and body surgeries and will always ensure that you are making the right choice for your body. Whether you are seeking a breast lift or otherwise, we invite you to visit our offices in Banff, Alberta for a consultation. Contact us today at 403-762-2055.