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Published on February 21, 2019

Allissa Harms and Dr Shashikant

As a Patient, Nurse Had Her Questions Answered Before Surgery

Allissa Harms' "office" is an operating room, where she's part of a care team ensuring each surgery, large or small, is successful.

The years of experience this surgical registered nurse has logged gave her plenty of insight – and many detailed questions – when she considered her own surgery.

"Your body changes after having kids – weight gain, weight loss – and I was happy with my body, except for one area," Harms said. "I did a lot of research – it can be overwhelming to look up things like breast enhancement online. Not all procedures are the same for all patients – and there’s a lot of misinformation out there."

That’s why Harms was happy to have met surgeon Mark Shashikant, MD, Avera Medical Group Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She could bring the entire page-long list of questions she had – some technical, some personal, all quite detailed – to him and go through them one-by-one and get answers before taking any action.

"I did my homework and knew what I wanted in terms of breast enhancement surgery, and Mark (Shashikant) did a great job answering my questions – I had a full page of them when we met the first time," she said. Harms had seen Shashikant’s work in the operating room, as well as that of his partner, Barry Martin, MD, and knew they were both great surgeons.

She opted to have a breast augmentation procedure without a lift. Her surgeon explained it’d be the best option for her, after they worked through her questions, looked carefully at 3D imaging to dial in the implants she felt were best and developed an approach that would help her maintain an active routine of yoga, walking and hiking.

"The results exceeded my hopes – I’m really happy with how everything turned out, and I was surprised at how quickly the surgery was done," she said. "I went in around noon and was home that afternoon. I took about a week off from work, and only had a little discomfort, but only for the first day or two."

The confidence that came with having a board-certified surgeon complete her enhancement in a robust medical center with the entire complement of professional staff was another advantage for Harms.

"I knew exactly what we were going to do, how it would work – everything was explained clearly and I knew I could trust the location because it’s where I work," said Harms. "I’m happy with the natural results I received with this enhancement, and I have been able to return to all the things I wanted to do. I’d say the biggest surprise is how many women I know who have questions about this sort of surgery. Many people don’t know the facts about it – or that it’s available. It’s felt good to share my experiences with those who ask questions."

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