The operation is always performed under general anaesthetic and depending on the procedure it can either be done as a day surgery or a short in-patient procedure.
The surgical technique depends on the degree of asymmetry, body shape and the desired breast size. Sometimes only one, but often both breasts need to be treated and may require a combination of techniques, such as mastopexy with implant, breast reduction or even reconstructive techniques such as flaps. It is not uncommon to need more than one procedure to achieve the desired result. Your surgeon will council you and discuss the procedures in detail.
The risks and complications for correction of breast asymmetry correspond to those associated with breast augmentation, mastopexy, breast reduction or flap reconstruction. You will find detailed information to each individual procedure on the corresponding webpages.
Do I need to stop my own medication prior to surgery?
Most medication can be continued normally. Some drugs such as blood thinners (e.g. Aspirin or Warfarin/Marcoumar) can increase the risk of postoperative bleeding and may need to be stopped or replaced before the procedure. We ask you to bring a complete list of all your medication and their dosages to your first consultation.
Does my GP need to perform or organize any special tests before surgery?
Usually not. The surgical team including the anaesthetist will need to be aware of any preexisting conditions (especially cardiovascular or lung diseases) which may be associated with an increased anaesthetic risk. We ask you to provide as much detailed information on your past medical history as possible when you come for your preoperative consultation so we can coordinate any necessary tests with your GP.
Do I need to stop smoking before surgery?
We seriously recommend stopping all nicotine consumption, including smoking at least 6 weeks before any surgical procedure. One of the most common complications following any type of surgery is delayed wound healing or wound breakdown. The main cause of this is usually bad blood circulation to the skin and tissues in the operated area. Nicotine is a chemical substance, which causes blood vessels in the body to constrict (narrow). This lowers the blood circulation to the wound and significantly increases the risk of complications.
How long before I can go back to work after surgery?
This depends on your work. Light duties, such as office jobs can usually be resumed after about a week. Lifting heavy objects and activities that strain the upper body and chest muscles should be refrained from for at least 6 weeks. Especially if you have small children it is important for you to plan and ensure enough support for their care other household chores during your recovery period.
Will I get a sick certificate for the time I am off work?
If the procedure is covered by your health insurance (e.g. advanced capsular contracture) a sick certificate can be issued. However sick certificates cannot be issued for cosmetic procedures. You will need to take leave for the entire period that you are absent from work.
Will my health insurance cover the costs for the surgery?
In most cases where the diagnosis of breast malformation is clear, the insurance company will cover the entire costs for the procedure. Written confirmation of approval to cover the costs by your insurer will need to be obtained by your doctor prior to the procedure.
Will my health insurance cover the costs of treatment if I develop any complications requiring medical treatment, hospitalization or even further surgery?
Yes, provided the complication is purely medical, e.g. an infection. Corrections of aesthetic complications (e.g. unsatisfactory shape, size, implant rotation or malposition etc. ) are not covered.