Choosing a surgeon for any breast surgery can be a little overwhelming. How do you know that you’re choosing the right one? It’s a lot of money to spend on yourself, especially if you aren’t happy with the final outcome. We chatted to one of Australia’s most respected specialist plastic surgeons, Dr Craig Rubinstein from Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men in Hawthorn Victoria, to ask him what to look for in a breast surgeon to help make your decision a little easier.
Qualifications and Training
The first thing you want to ensure is that your surgeon is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, not a Cosmetic Surgeon. Any doctor can call themselves a Cosmetic Surgeon, but you want one that has done the specialist training required to perform Plastic Surgery. The difference in your results and experience will almost certainly be significant. You increase your risk by choosing a doctor or “Cosmetic Surgeon” over a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
Dr Rubinstein says, “Cosmetic Surgeons can be GPs, Dermatologists and in some cases Dentists! You are trusting someone to alter your appearance and operate on you under an anaesthetic. You need to be in an accredited facility with a surgeon who is a RACS (Royal Australian College of Surgeons) member to have any such procedures. If they are not a member of RACS they are not allowed to operate in a hospital as they are not legally allowed to because their qualifications are not up to par. This means you will have the surgery in their own facility with a local anaesthetic with or without sedation. There is no emergency department, ICU or cardiac unit should anything go wrong. You will have to pay for an ambulance to go to hospital and then the hospital will charge you as well.”
Surgeon Experience and Planning
Dr Rubinstein has performed over 7,000 breast surgeries and counting. He says the secret to happy patients is taking exceptional care to assist patients in being able to make fully informed decisions. “We want patients to know their options, their choices, and how they can best optimise their recovery period including good scar minimisation strategies. We are highly focused on providing precision surgical planning, individual customisation, extensive pre-surgery measurements and mark-ups and experience-driven surgical skills. Best-practice post-op patient care is also something we strive to provide for our patients so that they are respectfully cared for at all stages of their journey. We establish long-term connections with our patients and remain available to them throughout their follow up period.” says Dr Rubinstein.
Having any sort of breast surgery, whether it’s augmentation, lift or reduction can be an overwhelming experience. Having a surgeon that you trust has your best interests at heart and helps you plan your journey is invaluable. It can make the difference between an average result and an great result.
The Right Team Behind the Surgeon
A good surgeon is only as good as the team he has around him. Anaesthetists, nurses, support staff… they all help the surgeon create a successful environment to produce great results and a positive experience for the patient. Dr Rubinstein agrees wholeheartedly. “In our view, precision measurements and expert planning, experienced anaesthetists and a quality hospital are non-negotiable. What sets us apart, is the level of care we provide to our patients. We treat all patients with dignity, respect and privacy throughout ALL stages of their surgical process. We’re not a ‘drive through’ type of discount surgery facility. We prioritise pre-surgery planning, custom surgical approaches and post-op recovery care for all of our patients, whether they are breast face or body procedures. Our team is focused on advanced education and surgical techniques that maximise results and minimise discomfort and healing time when possible. The best time to get plastic surgery right is the FIRST time.”
Good Surgeon/Patient Communication
Being able to talk to your surgeon is essential. Communicating to them about what you want from your surgery is essential to getting the results YOU want. Understanding what is expected of you is also important. Dr Rubinstein gives us some advice. “Every patient is unique, and your results will depend on what you’re starting with and the decisions you make. What you do AFTER surgery is also very important, following the surgeons instructions, such as wearing appropriate support garments and taking the right time to heal. It’s important for patients to understand that good plastic surgery results are attainable when both Patient and Surgeon each do their part to attain a positive and appealing result with realistic expectations. And it all starts with good communication.”
If you’d like to know more about Dr Craig Rubinstein head to the Cosmetic Surgery For Women and Men website, or check out some of his patient stories below.