Over two hundred thousand women in the U.S. will undergo breast enlargement this year. Unfortunately, many will devote more time researching a planned new car purchase than finding a qualified plastic surgeon.
We recently spoke to Ronald M. Friedman, M.D., a board certified plastic surgeon. Breast enlargement is the most frequently performed procedure in Dr. Friedman’s practice. Last year alone, over 120 women selected Dr. Friedman for their breast enlargements. We asked him what questions a woman should ask her surgeon before undergoing breast enlargement.
1. Are you Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
• Fact: Many physicians performing breast enlargement are non-plastic surgeons. Some have had little formal training in the performance of the surgery.
Dr. Friedman is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He has directed instructional courses for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons since 1996. He is also the Former Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Memorial Hospital. He was named a Best Doctor in our area by
D Magazine, and our states Super Doctor by it’s Monthly in 2004, 2005 and 2006 (honor awarded to fewer than 5% of Texas physicians).
2. Who performs the consultation?
• Fact: “Cosmetic surgery coordinators,” rather than surgeons, often perform the majority of the consultation.
Dr. Friedman performs a thorough preoperative evaluation and personally addresses each woman’s questions and concerns. He sees most patients twice prior to surgery, since he knows that many patients think of additional questions after their initial visit.
3. Who performs the surgery?
• Fact: Nurses or physician assistants frequently complete a portion of the operation (such as closure of the incisions).
Dr. Friedman is committed to performing each and every surgery from start to finish.
4. How is the surgery performed?
• Fact: Breast enlargement is commonly performed by “blunt dissection” of the breast tissues. This may create greater bleeding, which is controlled by compression bras or ACE bandages.
Dr. Friedman cauterizes all tissues as they are being elevated. This reduces bleeding, making compression bras and ACE bandages unnecessary. It also reduces the risks of hematoma (postoperative bleeding) and capsular contracture (hardening of implants).
5. Who provides the anesthesia?
• Fact: Most anesthesia for cosmetic surgery is administered by nurse anesthetists.
Dr. Friedman uses only physician anesthesiologists for all surgical procedures. He believes that their specialized training and expertise enhance patient comfort and safety.
6. What is your re-operation rate?
• Fact: Recent data submitted to the FDA by breast implant manufacturers reveals that 26% of women undergoing breast enlargement required further surgery within 5 years.
Dr. Friedman’s five year re-operation rate is less than 8%.
7. Who performs the follow-up visits?
• Fact: Postoperative visits are commonly performed by nurses or medical assistants, rather than surgeons.
Dr. Friedman personally performs each and every postoperative visit.
There are many decisions to make when choosing to have breast enlargement. Remember that your most important decision is the surgeon. Choose carefully.