A leading cosmetic surgeon has revealed the secrets to being happy with your implants, saying people often make the same mistakes.
Dr Ian Chinsee of Inigo Cosmetic in Brisbane told news.com.au patients often “trivialise breast augmentation” and do little research before their first appointment with a surgeon.
“It’s major surgery,” Dr Chinsee said. “There is a lot of internal engineering that goes into holding up a foreign body of that weight.
“It’s sometimes challenging to fully explain to a patient what is happening inside their body without first educating them to some degree about anatomy and physiology.”
He said there’s no “one size fits all approach and it’s nigh on impossible to recreate the same look as someone else”.
“Things like skin and tissue quality and anatomy affect surgery, and a patient’s starting point is the best way to determine the outcome.”
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He said he focuses on first consultations, believing these discussions have a direct impact on how satisfied customers are.
“The more informed the patient is, the more realistic they are about the result.
“This means patients will be less anxious about their surgery and enjoy an unremarkable and easy recovery period.
“It’s imperative the doctor understands the patient’s motivations to correlate their hopes and dreams against surgical safety, wound healing and their body shape.”
Every year, more than 500,000 Aussies undergo cosmetic procedures — 20,000 of which are cosmetic breast surgeries, according to data compiled by the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery in 2018.
However, a 2018 study from the University of California found almost one in five cosmetic surgery patients (19 per cent) didn’t do any research before having their first consultation with a surgeon.
Additionally, 25 per cent had no questions to ask after their first consultation.
SIX SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL BREAST ENHANCEMENT
Dr Chinsee said there are six secrets to understanding breast enhancement.
“The secret to patient happiness is in six key understandings – which hopefully shouldn’t be a secret any longer.”
•Be open minded, not fixated on one look: aim for a meeting of minds between you and the doctor
•Understand your emotions: if there’s something wrong with your life prior to cosmetic treatment, the issue will still be there afterwards
•Read the consent forms carefully: if unsure of any of the language in them, ask the doctor, ask a support person, friend or colleague
•Think long term: young bodies will grow and change, breasts will be different in your 20s from your 60s: childbirth and breastfeeding will also make a difference. Implants aren’t forever and will need replacing or revising
•Be aware of potential complications, how they’re handled, how much they cost. Understand about bruising, swelling, bleeding and recovery
•Prepare for the first few days after surgery, you’ll need someone to help you as you’re not to be able to lift anything and you’ll need a few days of bed rest
THE DESIRED ‘LOOK’ IS ALWAYS CHANGING
Dr Chinsee, who performs more than 400 breast surgeries every year said the “look” his patients want to achieve continues to change, along with advances in medical technology.
“The main thing I’ve learned is that there is always more to learn. What doesn’t change is human anatomy.
“However, the way in which that anatomy can be manipulated to accomplish the ‘look’ that patients are going for is ever-changing and ever-improving,” Dr Chinsee said.
“As surgical trends advance, so too does our surgical technique to reflect the uniqueness of each patient.”
He said cosmetic surgeons use each experience to improve patient outcomes.
“This learning is an ongoing commitment for the rest of my career and what makes working in this area of cosmetic surgery so interesting and rewarding.”
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR FIRST ENHANCEMENT APPOINTMENT
Dr Chinsee said patients should try to do research into breast implants before their first appointment, and offered some tips.
“The majority of patients do some research before a consultation — but often they are researching the wrong thing,” Dr Chinsee said.
“Patients tend to focus on implant choices: size, shape and profile. Therefore the consult starts with the patient listing off implant-related options, with little consideration to the more important factors of skin quality, lifestyle and their anatomy.”
He said there’s little awareness of the common complications in breast implant surgery. The most common complications are capsular contracture, displacement and general surgical complications.
“The emphasis seems to be towards potentially rare complications like BIA-ALCL and Breast Implant illness. While relevant, patients (can) often focus too much on these complications, rather than surgical planning and implant selection relevant to their body type.”
HOW TO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH
People researching breast implants should look to resources run by doctors, on the doctor’s own website.
“This will often be the introduction to medical terminology and basic information around surgery,” he said.
He said to be wary of online forums. Even popular forums, with pictures of pre or post surgery patients raise safety issues.
“The caveat and my concern here is that some patients can misinterpret the experiences or the ‘why’ of particular aspects of their surgery and this can be passed on down the line of communication to other patients, effectively giving them the wrong or skewed information.
“This becomes a problem when that inaccurate knowledge becomes so ingrained in a patient’s mind they don’t listen to the advice of their doctor or it doesn’t apply to their body type.”
“The most trustworthy information comes directly from the doctor and clinical staff.
“Anything else must be taken with a grain of salt until it is confirmed by the doctor.
“Information found on independent websites or on forums is often used to push a particular agenda or a promotion for a certain type of implant or specific doctor and could be biased – like any advertising.”