Do breast surgeons charge a consultation fee?
The initial thought of paying upfront to see a doctor might seem unnecessary. But when it comes to quality and care, a consultation fee is a good thing. If a breast augmentation doctor isn’t charging a consultation fee, there is a good chance that they are double booking appointment times to make up for people who “no show”. That means your appointment time is cut in half. Having a breast augmentation is too big of a decision to meet with the doctor for a rushed appointment.
Paying for a consultation usually guarantees that you have a set amount of time dedicated to just you and the doctor. This gives you enough time to ask all the questions you may have and make sure you and your breast surgeon are on the same page. A consultation fee usually assures you that the doctor values your time, so they want you to value theirs as well. Think twice before going to a doctor who has a “free” consultation.
Another reason a doctor might not charge a consultation fee is because their procedure costs are inflated. They know they can get you in the door to come see them with a free consultation, but they will make up for the lack of consultation fee by tacking it on to the final quote. Either way, you still pay the consultation in the end.
Why is board certification so important?
Plastic surgery procedures are not regulated. You don’t have to be a board-certified plastic surgeon to perform plastic surgery. Be leery of the words “Cosmetic Surgeon”. Cosmetic surgeons are not plastic surgeons; Board-certified Plastic Surgeons have had many years of extensive surgical training. Cosmetic Surgeons are often doctors that have attended a weekend course on plastic surgery procedures, and many times have not had formal surgical training. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: How long have they have been practicing? Do they have privileges to perform plastic surgery at a hospital?
Hospitals only allow doctors to perform procedures they are qualified to perform. That is why some surgeons perform “awake” breast augmentation or procedures in their office or privately owned surgery center. Know who is operating on you.
You should also check out the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners website for any malpractice lawsuits and the credentials.
Ask what procedure the surgeon specializes in or what procedure they are known for. Other good questions would be:
- Do they have any publications?
- If so, how many publications?
- Do they get invited to give lectures?
- How many of these surgeries have they performed?
It’s always a good idea to go to a surgeon that is experienced in the procedure you are interested in.
What method does the doctor use to select the breast implant size?
Some plastic surgeons like the “stuffing the bra” approach. This is where they will have you put a bra on and stuff the implant in the bra to determine the best size for you.
There have been studies that this method of selecting an implant size is far from accurate. It does not give an accurate representation of what the implant will look like under your muscle and tissue, nor will it give you a good indication of what your breast results will look like in a bra or shirt.
Some surgeons give you a range of implant sizes that may work for you. The surgeons will order all of the sizes and put “Sizers” in and take them out based on their opinion of what the implant looks like inside of your breast pocket. The danger of this is skin stretching, trauma, and infection.
A recent study done by Dr. William P. Adams Jr. was published on the accuracy of 3D imaging. The study showed that this imaging technology is 98% accurate. Vectra is a 3D imaging system that allows you to see what you would look like with different size implants in real time. It allows you to see what you would look like nude as well as in a swimsuit top. It is now the top leading technology in breast augmentation surgery.
Are you getting what you pay for?
If you are paying a consultation fee, make sure you are getting a generous amount of time to spend with the doctor, asking questions and getting as much info as you can. Getting a lot of information helps you make the best decision on whom to choose when having your procedure. Make sure to ask what is included in your consultation cost; it’s good to know what you’re paying for.
Before you leave your consultation, be sure to ask if your pre-op/post op visits are included in your surgery quote or if there will be extra charges for those appointments.
Make sure to ask what all is included in the surgery quote and what exactly you get for the total amount. You should also ask if there are any outside costs.
Some people are looking for the breast surgeon who is the least expensive. Sometimes getting the “best” price doesn’t always give you the “best” you. There is a reason a doctor may be significantly cheaper than another. The surgeon may be cutting corners in order to give you the price you are looking for. A breast augmentation surgery is a long term one. Don’t cut costs in the moment to be disappointed with your results in the future.
When is the first available breast augmentation consultation appointment?
If you have a certain date that you are looking to have a breast augmentation procedure done on, it’s important to know when the first available consultation date is.
Most offices are booking anywhere from 2-4 weeks out for their consultations and then 2-4 more weeks, from your consultation, to actually have the procedure done.
When calling, also ask when the next available surgery date is. This allows you to start planning the process and helps you work around your schedule. When planning surgery, also ask about recovery time. Discuss any special events or vacations you may have scheduled to make sure the recovery time doesn’t conflict with any of your plans.