The Big (and Small) Picture – Part 2

Welcome back! If you’ve got a lot of questions about breast augmentation, you’re not alone. In part 2 of our series, Dr. McKee addresses the “Before and After” of Breast Augmentation surgery- what makes a good or bad candidate? What about recovery? Then we’ll meet office manager Jeanie McKee to discuss pricing and payment options.

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Who is a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery? Or maybe conversely, who is NOT a good candidate?

David E. McKee: I would say that a patient who is at high risk for breast cancer is not a good patient. Breast implants don’t cause breast cancer, but they do make it more difficult to image the breast. and if you are at high risk, if you have several relatives (like your mother, your grandmother on your mother’s side, your sister) who have had breast cancer, I think it’s an unwise operation for that patient. Otherwise, I don’t know that there is a person that shoudn’t have an augmentation. I do believe that there are patients who are much more likely to get good results and have fewer problems. That would be older patients who have finished having their children, who have a little extra breast skin, and who don’t insist on pushing very big. The bigger you go, the higher the complication rate, particularly the smaller you are to start with. And 18-20 year old women who have never been pregnant, who have AA breasts and no extra skin and who come in and want to be Ds, that a very bad set-up for a high complication rate. That’s a lot of implant to put in a patient at one time and expect everything to come out nice without a revision.

Is  there anything I can do before surgery to help ensure a good result?

DEM: Yes- don’t smoke. All complications go up in smokers. Obesity increases the risk of complications of ALL surgeries. It increases the risk of wound infections, and other complications. So maintain a healthy weight and don’t smoke. And then, I would say, there are specific things that your doctor will ask you to do in the few days before surgery related to sterility- showering with special soaps and those sorts of things, so make sure to do those things exactly as instructed by your doctor.

Let’s say a woman does have a baby after having breast implants. Could she still breast feed?

DEM: Since I don’t know if a woman would have been able to breast feed before she got breast implants, I would never guarantee her ability to breast feed, but there’s no reason that a woman who has breast implants should not be able to breastfeed if she gets pregnant and has a baby. There’s nothing about the implants that would be worrisome for breast feeding, nor is there any change in the breast. I don’t cut any ducts, I don’t even cut through breast tissue, that’s why I like the incision under the breast. Unless you put such a large implant in that it pushed so hard against their remaining breast tissue that it caused it to atrophy, which is possible, I think most people with breast implants can breastfeed.

How long will it take me to recover after surgery?

DEM: If you have the implant placed under the breast but above the muscle, if you have a sedentary job, work at a desk, keyed in an computer, if you had your surgery on Friday, you could probably go back to work on Monday. If you had surgery with the implant placed under the muscle, you’re probably going to miss 3 to 4 days, maybe even a week of work. It just takes that much longer to get over the surgery under the muscle in terms of soreness.

Will there be activities I can’t do again after breast surgery?

DEM: No. There is nothing that a patient with implants can’t do that any other patient can do once they are healed. There are all sorts of rumors out there, things about skydiving and implants blowing up in scuba diving and patients getting into sunbeds and having explosions. All of those are old wives’ tales and urban legends. There’s nothing that a patient with implants cannot do that anybody else can do.

Will insurance pay for my augmentation?

DEM: No. I don’t know of any insurance that will pay for breast enlargement surgery. It’s even difficult in patients with a severe deformity, like asymmetry, a difference in the size of the breasts, and I’m talking several cup sizes. It is very difficult to get them to let me fix that by putting an implant in the smaller breast. Although insurance does often pay for breast implants in the opposite breast in patients who have mastectomies for breast cancer if it’s necessary to get a symmetrical appearance.

As you’ll find when you visit our office, you’ll meet with Dr. McKee for your initial consultation, then you will also have an opportunity to speak with Jeanie McKee, Dr. McKee’s office manager. With Jeanie, you will learn all about the cost and payment operations for the procedures you’re considering.

How much should I expect to pay for a breast augmentation?

Jeanie McKee: The total cost is $5647 or $6547. That variation depends on whether you choose saline or gel implants, which cost different amounts. The cost includes the surgeon’s fee, the hospital fee, anesthesia, and the cost of the implants, so that includes everything required for the surgery.

What payment options do I have?

JM: All cosmetic surgery has to be paid in full before the date of surgery. In addition to cash and check, we accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. We do offer Care Credit, which is a nationally recognized company who handles financing for health issues, and is used a lot for cosmetic surgery. Our office can help you apply, if necessary.

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Please come back for part 3 of our discussion- Dr. McKee will talk about potential complications with the surgery and how to help take care of your investment after surgery.

This is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of a personal consultation. Every patient has different needs.  As always, Dr. McKee would prefer to speak with you in person to discuss your specific situation.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. McKee, e-mail us using the form below or call us at 615-868-4091. All information is kept confidential.


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