About 280,000 women in the U.S. had breast augmentation surgery last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), up 31 percent from the year 2000, making it the number one cosmetic surgery performed in the nation. That increase in popularity is due to lots of factors – advanced in techniques and materials, improved results, more competitive costs, faster recovery, and a decline in the “stigma” that was once attached to many cosmetic surgery procedures.   More good news for patients: Advances in techniques and technology mean today’s top breast augmentation surgeons are skilled in customizing the surgery to suit the specific needs of the individual patient, resulting in higher levels of patient satisfaction. In fact, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) says surveys show that overall, women who have breast augmentation surgery are very satisfied with their results and experience higher levels of self-confidence and a greater satisfaction with their appearance.   Of course, to tap into those great results, you need to make sure the surgeon you select is up to the task. In fact, selecting the right surgeon for your procedure is one of the most critical steps you can take to ensure a superior outcome, and that means it’s very important to invest some time in researching doctors and reviewing their credentials.

Board Certified in Plastic Surgery


When it comes to choosing your surgeon, you should start your search by restricting your candidates to those who are Board Certified in plastic or cosmetic surgery. Why? Because nearly any general surgeon can perform breast augmentation if they choose. But that doesn’t mean they have the skills, expertise, experience or technical know-how to achieve great results or even mediocre results.   On the other hand, a surgeon who’s Board Certified in Plastic Surgery has far more extensive training in the specialty – years of extra training in fact. To be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the doctor must satisfy specific training requirements beyond those required for their medical license, and they need to commit to ongoing training to maintain their certification. In fact, according to the ABPS website, a surgeon who is ABPS certified “demonstrates a commitment to continuing education, assessment of knowledge, and practice improvement throughout the plastic surgeon’s career.” Board certification also requires extensive testing to evaluate and confirm the surgeon’s advanced level of knowledge in Plastic Surgery. Once a surgeon becomes Board Certified, the work doesn’t stop. They’re required to participate in ongoing continuing education activities that are designed to keep them up to speed on the latest techniques and other aspects of surgery that can help their patients get those amazing results they’re looking for. Participating in continuing education activities like classes, lectures and workshops on a regular basis means a Board Certified plastic surgeon is able to provide patients with techniques and approaches that are safer, simpler, more effective and more patient-centered. To maintain board certification, a surgeon cannot rest on their laurels and simply point to past achievements as proof of their skills and expertise. They must constantly be learning and evolving to ensure they offer the best-available options for each patient they treat. And, they need to be re-certified by the board on a regular basis.   Having a Board Certified plastic surgeon also ensures you’ll have your procedure performed by a surgeon who understands the potential risks and complications associated with your surgery so those issues can be minimized before, during and after your procedure. That means not only can you experience a greater degree of safety, but you can also relax and enjoy increased peace of mind as well. Board certification is very important, but it’s not all you should be looking for in your search for the ideal surgeon. During your research, you should also look for memberships in professional specialty societies, which confer their own rigorous standards. For instance, the ASPS requires its members to be certified by the ABPS and to complete a minimum of six years of surgical training after they complete medical school, with three of those years focusing on Plastic Surgery procedures. ASPS membership also requires ongoing continuing education, including education on patient safety topics, as well as adherence to a strict code of ethics.

Beyond Certification: Other Considerations


Once you’ve established the surgeon’s credentials, the next step is to schedule a consultation to meet with the surgeon and the support staff face to face and ask the important questions that can help ensure you select the best, most qualified surgeon for your procedure. Before your consultation visit, make a list of questions to ask the surgeon. You’ll want to know about the specific approach the surgeon recommends for your procedure and why they recommend that approach over other options. And you’ll want to ask all about what happens before and during your surgery, as well as during the hours, days, weeks and months of your recovery. The ASPS has a list of questions here that you can use to start your list, but be sure to address your own specific concerns as well. You should also ask to see before-and-after pictures of other breast augmentation patients to gauge the doctor’s skill level. Throughout the visit, pay attention to how the surgeon responds to your questions and the level of comfort and trust you feel speaking with the surgeon; you want to feel at ease discussing your concerns, and the doctor’s demeanor plays a big role in that process. You’ll also want to ask about how often you’ll see the doctor after your surgery and when to call the doctor – for instance, if you develop a fever or have issues with your incision sites. Most of the information regarding surgery and recovery will be provided to you again before your surgery, but getting an idea of what to expect can help you understand the process better right from the start, and it also gives you more opportunity to gauge the doctor’s bedside manner as well as their skills and general approach.

Take the Next Step: Schedule Your Consultation Today


Selecting the best surgeon for your breast augmentation procedure may sound like a lot of work, but considering you’ll be having a procedure that will have a bearing on your appearance and your self-confidence, it’s absolutely time well spent. You can do some of your research online, reading patient reviews, visiting practice websites and social media accounts, and even reviewing the surgeon’s credentials and educational background in many cases. Once you’ve narrowed down the prospects, make that phone call and schedule your consultation visit. As a top-ranked plastic surgeon in San Antonio, Dr. Michael Baumholtz is Board Certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and he’s also a member of both the ASPS and the ASAPS, as well as the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Bexar County Medical Society. Breast augmentation surgery offers lots of benefits for patients; the key is finding the best surgeon for your needs. To learn more about breast augmentation surgery and to learn about the options that can help you achieve your goals, call Baumholtz Plastic Surgery at 210-920-2390 or use our online contact form to request a personal consultation today.

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