Dr. Charles Hsu, MD tells us about breast augmentation surgery, from what to expect to his most memorable success stories.
- How frequently do you perform breast augmentation?
Breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures that I do. I’d say that every week we do several of them!
- What is the expected downtime?
For most people, they want to know expected downtime from surgery so that they can plan when to return to work. For breast augmentation, in general much of the swelling and bruising is gone by two weeks, and people feel comfortable enough to go back to work by then. This is a conservative estimate, but I think it’s better to plan for two weeks recovery, and if you feel well enough to go back to work even earlier, then it’s a bonus. One limiting factor early on are the pain medications — you shouldn’t drive while on pain medication, and most people are off of the pain medications by about 5-7 days after surgery. For returning to a normal workout regimen, however, such as running, or upper body exercises, I advise patients to wait a full six weeks in order to allow the muscle and tissue to heal properly. But two weeks is a generally good estimate for most activities.
- Can the procedure be reversed? Repeated?
Breast augmentation can be revised (for example, to change implant size) or even reversed — the procedure is simple and it involves going through the original incision, and then just exchanging (or removing) the implants. I’ve seen a fair number of patients who had breast augmentation done elsewhere, with unhappy results, and I have performed revisions to fix their problems. These are highly individualized operations, because people usually come with a variety of things that they would like corrected. But with proper planning, revisionary surgery can give really great results too.
- Are you currently involved in the training/education of residents or other credentialed surgeons?
Prior to moving my practice down to Beverly Hills, I served as clinical faculty at Stanford University Medical Center, where I was involved on a daily basis with helping to train the plastic surgery residents, and also with clinical instruction of the medical students from Stanford’s medical school. It was fun and very enjoyable, but I ultimately decided to relocate to southern California to be closer to family. I’m not currently involved in resident training, and instead I’ve taken that time and applied it to patient care. I miss the opportunity to teach, but the direct patient care is very rewarding too.
- What is your most memorable success story?
While it’s true that each patient has her own story, and is memorable in her own way, I’ve had a number of successes with revisionary surgery. It breaks my heart to see patients come to my practice, and tell me about a procedure with a bad result that they was performed elsewhere for any number of myriad reasons (more convenient location, lower cost, etc.). It’s challenging but very, very rewarding to restore patients back to a good aesthetic result. Ultimately these patients are amongst the happiest ones when we have finished their revisions.
- Where are your 3 favorite places to eat?
There are too many fantastic places to eat in LA to choose just 3! But a few that come immediately to mind: Mastro’s steakhouse in Beverly Hills is always great, as well as STK in West Hollywood. Occasionally I like the Bazaar at the SLS hotel as well (also in Beverly Hills).
Originally from southern California, Dr. Charles Hsu earned his MD from Harvard Medical School and completed his plastic surgery training at Stanford University Medical Center. He is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Charles Hsu received the Stanford University School of Medicine teaching award, and as an Active Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Charles Hsu specializes in plastic surgery of the breast, body, and face. Read more about him here.