Sample Patient Letter
I would like to thank Roy Morgan, M.D., for developing this letter.
It is a great honor to have been chosen to be your surgeon for the breast surgery that we have planned.
We will do our utmost to live up to your trust and confidence, and promise to perform the best work we can.
You and I have discussed the surgery and the spectrum of possible results, and you have asserted that you understand them. I would like to repeat them here, to further ensure your understanding:
The surgery's result is unpredictable.
At first, you will look worse.
There can be no guarantee.
You may not be pleased with the final result.
Perfect symmetry is impossible.
There may be other medical problems (partially outlined below).
Some problems cannot later be fixed.
It is best for you to prepare yourself for some problems. Though we do our best to minimize and avoid them, PROBLEMS WILL OCCUR. We do not know what they will be exactly, but everyone who has surgery experiences some level of complication. As Norman Vincent Peale has said, "The only people who have no problems are in the cemetery."
Some of the universal difficulties that everyone has following this surgery are swelling, discomfort, discoloration, tenderness, numbness, and distortion, all of which are unequal on each breasts. During the healing phase, whether it lasts weeks or months, all of these factors may cause you to feel embarrassed and/or depressed.
Frequently, treatment such as injections and touch-up procedures are required.
If you can feel your ribs with your finger, beneath the breast or at the side of your breast, you will be able to feel the edge of your implant beneath and at the side of your breast.
Some implants are manufactured with a thicker shell to provide durability and prolong the life of your implant. A thicker shell may be easier for you to feel.
If feeling an edge of the implant shell could be a problem for you, do not have an augmentation.
We cannot change the quality or thickness of your tissues. If you are thin or have very little breast tissue, you will be more likely to feel your implant externally.
The larger your implant, the worse your breast will look over time. A larger implant will gradually stretch your tissues, and will cause more tissue thinning and sagging than a smaller implant would. Breast tissues do not improve with age, and they will be less able to support the additional weight of any implant, especially a larger implant.
Any implant, if filled adequately to prevent collapse and possible folding of the shell when you stand, will feel firmer than a normal breast, regardless of the filler material. If less fill material is used in order to avoid a firmer implant, the shell may fold and fail sooner than expected, requiring you to have a repeat operation sooner than planned. Most patients accept a firmer breast in exchange for a possibly longer life of the implant shell.
If you want a totally natural breast, you should not have a breast augmentation.
Usual side effects are swelling, bruising, discomfort, pain, soreness, numbness, tingling, fatigue, rippling, palpable implants, scar, asymmetry and contour imperfections.
Occasional side effects include persistent numbness, lack of nipple sensation, increased asymmetry, hematoma, seroma, infection, capsule contracture, visible deformity, and drug and tape reactions.
Rare complications include skin death, loss of breast tissue due to severe infection, collapse of the lung during surgery, and death or other complication due to anesthesia or other factors.
Usually it takes months, or even a year or more for all of the swelling to go away and the tissue to return to normal.
If you are unsure about any of the items covered in this letter, please be sure to discuss it with me prior to certifying your understanding and acceptance of these terms with your signature below. If you feel that you correctly understand the information provided here, please sign below, write in the current date, and return the signed original to my office prior to your surgery.
Again, I thank you for the honor of being your surgeon, and I look forward to a long-term, doctor-patient relationship as you seek to look your best!
Robert Yoho, M.D.
Acknowledged & Received: __________________________
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