When a woman decides she wants breast implants and comes to one of my suburban Chicago offices for a consultation, she’s usually eager to move forward as quickly as possible. I share that excitement with my patients, which is why I meet personally with them during the initial consultation. Part of our time together is spent looking at past patients’ before-and-after photos, which can be a very valuable tool.
I think it’s important to do an initial physical evaluation and hear a patient’s cosmetic goals early in the process, so I can begin developing a preoperative plan designed to get attractive, satisfying results. Besides taking measurements, evaluating the skin, and making other physical assessments, I make it a point to sit down with each patient and have them examine before-and-after photos of my other breast augmentation patients.
Even though many women have a mental image of what they want their enhanced breasts to look like, it helps to see photos of real women with similar body types. It helps them decide not only on the size of implants they want, but they get a better understanding of how breast implant profiles can make a difference and of the appearance of different incisions. Patients who want a natural look can see for themselves the difference between how silicone and saline implants appear, or how round versus teardrop-shaped implants look.
Examining photos with my patients is also very helpful for me as a surgeon. Patients can point out exactly what they like and don’t like, which can sometimes be hard to articulate with words alone. This way, we both end up on the same page and can feel confident moving forward with surgical plans.