Preparing for Surgery
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get blood tests or x-rays
- Undergo a medical evaluation by a specialist
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery (minimum of 8 weeks +/- urine testing for confirmation)
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding risk
An individualised consultation can be arranged for you to see our Practice Nurse 1-2 weeks prior to your operation if requested. During this 30-40 minute consultation:
- You will be measured for your garment if you require one
- You will have the opportunity to ask questions with regards to your procedure or hospital stay
- You will be informed about what to expect during the immediate postoperative period
- You will be given information on your admission and hospital stay
- Clinical photos may be taken
- A deposit or the full payment for your procedure may be required
Our surgeons only performs breast surgery in accredited private hospitals.
Some procedures require hospital stay, and some are performed as Day-Surgery. Either way, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery. For those discharged from Day-Surgery after a general anaesthetic, it is essential that you arrange for someone to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
The benefit of hospital-stay significantly out-weighs the risks of day-surgery in some patients:
- Allows you to adequately recover from a long anaesthesia
- Prompt effective intravenous treatment for any postoperative nausea and vomiting
- Prompt effective treatment if you have any pain
- Help and supportive nursing during the first 24 hours (especially with swelling or discomfort)
- Monitoring for any complications such as bleeding
- Allows administration of 24 hours postoperative intravenous antibiotic treatment to decrease incidence of infection (especially with breast implants)
- Allows monitoring of your drains if you have any
Risks and complications of breast surgery
The decision to have any breast surgery is extremely personal and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Our surgeon and staff will explain in detail the risks associated with your surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications. Risks specific to each type of procedure will be outlined below.
Most of the risks are very uncommon, and some people (with particular health problems or specific breast features), may be at higher risk for specific complications. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during your consultation if any of these risks are specifically pertinent to you.
Although both cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery can be effective procedures where the benefits significantly outweigh the risks, like everything in the practice of medicine and surgery, it is not an exact science. The degree of surgical success can be altered by how each individual's body responds to surgery and healing. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure; revision surgery may be necessary.
Be sure to ask questions: It's very important to ask questions about your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings and any specific concerns with our surgeon or any of our staff members.
You will be given detailed instructions on how to care for yourself prior to leaving the hospital. You will also go home with a postoperative pack including detailed postoperative brochures specific to your procedure. These will include information on:
- How to care for the surgical site
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in overall health
- How to and when to arrange follow up in our clinic
- Contact instructions in case of concerns or after-hour emergencies
Be sure to ask your surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitches removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up a follow-up appointment?
Following your surgeon's instructions is the key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Avoid wearing any clothing that must go over your head or require excessive movement of your arms above your head. Avoid heavy lifting and tasks that require exertion of your upper arms and shoulders.
Once you are at home, please seek medical attention if:
- You experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately.
- Notice unusual swelling, bleeding, redness, pain, or persistent discharge from your wound
- Become ill, unwell or feverish
- Break out in a persistent rash
Should any of the above occur, you may require hospitalisation and additional treatment.
Your first postoperative appointment is usually with our nurse within 5-7 days of discharge from hospital. If you are not already in a garment when discharged from the hospital, please bring your garment with you (the bra is in your discharge package). At this appointment, your sutures will be removed if required; your wounds will be checked and cleaned thoroughly. You may be shown how to put on your garment and advised on how long you will be required to wear it. Further instructions on wound care will be discussed with you. Nursing review may vary from twice weekly to fortnightly after your procedure depending on the type of surgery and progress of your wounds.
Depending on your procedure, your final routine review appointment with your surgeon is usually around 10-12 weeks. At this appointment, your scars and swelling are assessed, and more clinical photos may be taken. Further follow-up appointments may be offered as appropriate.
Your postoperative period will be fully supported by our surgeon and our staff. If you have any concerns or queries during this period, please do not hesitate to ring our office. If necessary, our Practice Nurse may ask you to come into the office for an assessment earlier than your planned review appointment.
For more information on postoperative instructions, please click here.
How much does breast surgery cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices can vary widely. A surgeon's cost for breast surgery may vary based on his or her experience, geographic office location and inclusive services.
We have simplified your costs into three components, these are:
- Surgeon's fee (which is inclusive of surgical assistant fee, your garment if you require one, breast implants or any prosthesis required, routine follow-up appointments, postoperative dressings and GST if applicable)
- Hospital fees or Outpatient Surgery Facility Fee
- Anaesthesia fees if you are having a general anaesthetic or intravenous sedation
Your quote from our practice will only specify the Surgeon's fee (with above-specified inclusions). We provide you with contact numbers of the hospital and anaesthetist for your procedure. It is your responsibility to check and confirm these costs with the relevant parties prior to your booking.
Other costs which are not included in the above may be:
- Prescriptions for medications
- Blood Tests and X-rays as required before or after the operation
- Any revision or emergent surgery required secondary to an unexpected complication
Private health insurance does not cover any component of cosmetic breast surgery. However, if your breast surgery was recommended to you by our surgeon for a medicare-approved indication. You will be provided with a medicare item number on your quote, which should also specify the possible rebate you may receive from your private health fund. You should then contact both the hospital and anaesthetist to find out their overall cost and possible rebates you may be eligible for.
Don't forget: Your satisfaction involves more than a fee. When choosing a surgeon for breast surgery, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Questions to ask your Plastic Surgeon:
Use this checklist as a guide during your consultation
- Are you a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons or Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Would I need to stop any medications or herbal supplements prior to my operation, if so, for how long?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What should I expect during my recovery and how long would my recovery take?
- What kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled and what additional costs should I expect?
- What shape, size, surface texturing, incision site and placement site are recommended for me?
- How will my ability to breastfeed be affected?
- How will my breasts look if I choose to have the implants removed in the future without replacement?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
- What are the results I can expect and how would it look over time?
- How can I expect my breasts to look after pregnancy? After breastfeeding?
- Am I likely to need further revision surgery in the future?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my surgery?